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ft • > 

Zbe Snternational ^beolodical Xibrari?. 



^ Tlmhgieai Bmcycle^mdia ami SymMki, t/mim ThtolQgkmi 


PHmi^ml^ mmd Pr^futtr ^ SysUmaiic Tk^ohgy attd Ntm TuUmtni Bxtguit^ 

UuiUd Pr$§ Ckmrck C^lkg^t AitrtUm. 


D.Dl, LL.IX 

International Theological Library 




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OOmiTBBrBKFOBMAIIOir (1620-1580). 

"«* or THE A "^^ LiBRA^ 

university) /Tnwersitv 

NEW YORK ^"=*^~.- -^ 


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In this volume I have endeavoured to fulfil the promifie 
made in the foimer one to describe the Beformed Churches, 
the Anabaptist and Socinian movements and the Counter- 
reformation in the sixteenth century. 

It has been based on a careful study of contemporary 
sources of information, and no important fact has been 
recorded for which there is not contemporary evidenca 
Full use has been made of work done by predecessors in 
the same field The sources and the later books consulted 
have been named at the beginning of each chapter ; but 
special reference is due to the writings of Professor Pollard 
on the reigns of Henry vin. and Edward VL, and to those 
of MM. Lemonier and Mari^jol for the history of 
Protestantism in France. The sources consulted are, 
for the most part, printed in Calendars of State Papers 
issued by the various Governments of Europe, or in the 
correspondence of prominent men and women of the six- 
teenth century, edited and published for Historical and 
Archseological Societies ; but the Calendar of State Papers, 
Domestic, relating to the reigns of Edward vi., Mary, 
and Elizabeth, is little more than a brief account of 
the contents of the documents, and has to be supple- 
mented by reference to the original documents in the 
Hecord Offica 

The field covered in this volume is so extensive that 



the accounts of the rise and progress of the Beformation 
in the various countries included had to be very much 
condensed. I have purposely given a larger space to the 
beginnings of each movement, believing them to be less 
known and more deserving of study. One omission must 
be noted. Nothing has been said directly about the 
Beformed Churches in Bohemia, Hungary, and the 
neighbouring lands. It would have been easy to devote 
a few pages to the subject ; but such a brief description 
would have been misleading. The rise, continuance, and 
decline uf these Churches are so inseparably connected 
with the peculiar social and political conditions of the 
countries, that no adequate or informing account of them 
could be given without largely exceeding the limits of 
space at my disposal. 

After the volume had been fully printed, and euldition 
or alteration was impossible, two important documents 
bearing on subjects discussed came into my hands too 
late for references in the text 

I have found that the Library of the Technical College 
in Glasguw contains a copy, probably unique, of the famous 
Hymn-book of the Brethrev. published at Ulm in 1538. 
It is entitled: Ein huhi>ch neu Oesangbuch darinrun 
begrUffen die Kirchenordnung und Geseng die ziir Lants 
Kron und Fidneck in Behem, von der Christlichen Bruder- 
schafft den Piccarden, die bishero fur Unchristen und Ketzer 
gehalteny gebraucht und teglich Oott zum Ehren gesungen 
werden. Gedruckt zu Ulm bey Hans Varnier. An. 
MDXXXViii. I know of a copy of much later date in 
Niimberg ; but of no perfect copy of this early impression. 
It is sufficient to say that the book confirms what I have 
said of the character of the religion of the Brethren, 

Then in December 1906, Sefior Henriques pub- 
lished at Lisbon the authentic records of the trial of 


Oeorge Buchanan and two fellow professors in the 
Ooimbra College before the Inquisition. These records 
show that the prosecution had not been instigated by the 
Jesuits, as was generally conjectured, but was due to the 
malice of a former Principal of the College. The state- 
ment made on p. 556 has therefore to be corrected. 

The kindness of the publishers has provided an 
historical map, which I trust will be foimd useful. It 
gives, I think for the first time, a representation to 
the eye of the wide extent of the Anabaptist movement. 
The red bars denote districts where contemporary docu- 
ments attest the existence of Anabaptist communities. 
At least four maps, representing successive periods, would 
be needed to show with exactness the shifting boundaries 
of the various confessions; one map can only give the 
general results. 

My thanks are again due to my colleague, Dr. Donney, 
and to another friend, for the care they have taken in 
revising the proof sheets, and for many valuable 





i 1. The limitationB of tbe Peace of Augsburg • • • 

§ 2. The Reformation outoide Germany • • • • 

§ 3. The Reformed type of Doctrine . • . • • 

§ 4. The Reformed ideal of Ecclesiastical Qovemment 

S 5. The influence of Humanism on the Reformed Churches 

§ 6. What the Reformed Churches owed to Luther 

i 7. National Characteristics as they affected the Reformation 





"The Rsfobmation in Switzerland under Zwingli. 

S 1. The political condition of Switzerland 21 

S 2. Zwingli's youth and education 24 

§ 3. Zwingli at Glarus and at Einsiedeln • • • • • 27 

S 4. Zwingli in Zurich 29 

S 5. The Public Disputations 33 

S 6. The Reformation outside Zurich 38 

In Basel — Oecolampadius and William Farel • • .38 

In Bern— The Tm Theses ....... 40 

In Appenzell and other Cantons 46 

The Christian dvie League (Protestant). The Qvristian Union 

(Romanist) 48 

1 7. The Sacramental Controversy 62 







1. Qeneva 61 

2. The Reformation in Western Switzerland • • • • 66 
Farel and his band of evangelists . . • • • .71 

3. Farel in Geneva 74 

Bern, Freibourg, and Geneva . . . . • .77 
The Public Disputation and the TTihes Evang^Hgues • • 86 

4. Calvin : Youth and education ...••• 92 
ChrutiawB Heligionis JnstittUio 99 

6. Calvin with Farel in Qeneva 102 

Articuli de regimiiie ecclesia — Discipline in the Church . 106 
The theologians of Eastern Switzerland and excommunica- 
tion 110 

Calvin and Farel banished from Geneva . . . .120 

Calvin recalled to Geneva— Zm ordontianceB eeclssiattiqius ds 

V£gli8e de Getihe ..•••••• 128 

What Calvin did for Geneva • • • • - • .131 


Thb Reformation in Franoi. 

i 1. Marguerite d'Angoul^me and the '* group of Meaux " 
§ 2. Attempts to repress the movement for Reform . 
§ 3. Change in the character of the movement for Reform 
§ 4. Calvin and his influence in France 

§ 5. Persecution under Henrj n 

§ 6. The organisation of the French Protestant Church 

§ 7. Reaction against persecution .... 

§ 8. The higher aristocracy won for the Reformation in F 

§ 9. France ruled by the Guises .... 

§ 10. Catherine de' Medici becomes Regent • • 

§11. The Conference at Poissy .... 

§ 12. The massacre at Vassy . . • • 

§ 13. The beginning of the Wars of Religion • 

§ 14. The massacre of St. Bartholomew 

§ 16. The Huguenot resistance after the massacre 

§ 16. The beginnings of the League . 

§17. The League becomes disloyal 

§18. The day of Barricades .... 

§19. The King takes refuge with the Huguenots 






I 20. Th« Declaration of Henry nr 217 

f 21. Henry iv. becomes a Roman Catholic 219 

f 28. The Edict of Nantes 221 


Thb Rsforhation in thb Nbtherlands. 

f 1. The political situation ...••... 224 

1 2. The b^nnings of the Reformation 228 

f 3. The Anabaptists in the Netherlands • • • • . 234 

I 4. Philip of Spain and the Netherlands 240 

I 5. William of Orange 264 


Thb Rbforkation in Scotland. 

Preparation for the Reformation . • 274 

liollardy in Scotland . 276 

Lutheran writings in Scotland 279 

The Beginnings of the Reformation 282 

Geoige Wishart 284 

John Knox, early work in Scotland 285 

Knox in England, in Switzerland, and at Frankfurt . . . 286 

The " Band subscrived by the Lords.'* " The Congregation " . 289 

Knox's final return to Scotland 293 

Knox and CedL The English alliance 294 

Tke Scots Confessum of Faith 302 

The FxTtt Booh of DUcvplindy or ihe Policie a/nd DimpUne of the 

Church, The Book of Common Order 304 

Return of Queen Mary to Scotland ..•••• 309 




Thb Churoh of Hbnrt vm. 

Influences in England making for the Reformation. Lollardy, 

Hatred of the Clergy, Humanism, Luther . . . .316 




The marriage of Henry and Catharine of Aragon, and the doubts 

entertained of its validity 822 

The Revolt of England from Roman jariediction . . • 825 

The Ten Articles and the Injundioni 833 

J%e Bishop^ Book, ajad ii» tes^ehmg 836 

The English BibU 837 

Projected alliance with the German Protestants • • • • 840 

The visitation and dissolution of monasteries • « • • 843 

Th» Six AHicles toid ike King's Book 847 

Thb Reformation under Edward ti. 

The Injunctions and the Articles of Inquiry . 

The condition of the English Clergy . 

The First Prayer-Book of King Edward VI. . 

Continental Reformers in England 

The Second Prayer-Book of King Edicard VI, 

Beginnings of the controversy about Vestments 


The Reaotion under Mart. 

The beginnings of Queen Mary's reign 

The restoration of England to the papal obedience 

The Injunctions and the Visitation 

The revival of heresy laws and the persecutions . 

The martyrdom of Cranmer. .... 



The Settlement under Elizabeth. 

Elizabeth resolves to be a Protestant. The political situation . 885 

The Act of Supremacy and the Ad of Uniformity . . . 380 

The Elizabethan Prayer-Book 896 

The Act of Uniformity and the Rubric about 0mamenJt9 • . 402 

The dealings with recalcitrant clergymen . • • • • 408 

The ThiHy-Nine Articles 411 

How Discipline was regulated . . • • . • .417 

Tlie character of the Elizabethan settlement . • . • 418 







MeduBval NonconformistB 421 

The AnU-Trinitarians 424 



The medisTel roots of Anabaptism •••••• 430 

Anabaptiam organisation 434 

Yarieties of teaching among the Anabaptists • • • . 437 

Anabaptiats object to a State Church 442 

The Anabaptists in Switzerhmd. Their persecution . . • 445 

Anabaptist hymnology 449 

The Kingdom of God in Miinster 451 

Bemhard Rothmann and his work in Miinster . • • • 452 

Dutch Anabaptists in Miinster • • 459 

Pdjrgamy in Miinster ••••••••• 463 



LaBo and Fausto Sozzini 470 

Soeinianiam took its rise from a criticism of Doctrines • . 473 

Sodnianiam and the Scoto-Pelagian theology .... 474 

The doctrinea of God, the Work of Christ and the Chureh • . 477 




TsB Ksoxsanr or ▲ Rxfobhatioh ov bomb bobt jjvtvkbballi 


Variety of complaints against the medissral Chureh • • . 484 
Formation of local churches 487 




Thb Spanish Concbptiok of ▲ Rbformatiov. 

I 1. The religious condition of Spain 

I 2. The reformation under Ximenee . 

§ 8. The Spaniards and Luther .... 

§ 4. Pope Adrian vi. and the Spanish Reformation 



Italian libbral Roman Catholios and thbir Conobftion of a 



§ 1. The religious condition of Italy . . • • • . 601 

§ 2. Italian Roman Catholic Reformers . • • ■ . • '504 

i 3. Cardinals Contarini and Caraffa 513 

i 4. The Conference at Regensburg 519 


Ignatius Loyola and the Company of Jbsub. 

§ 1. At Manresa 525 

§ 2. Ignatius at Paris. The ecclesiastical situation at Paris . 533 

% 2, The Spiritual Exercises 538 

§ 4. Ignatius in Italy 545 

% 6. The Soeiety of Jenu 549 


Thb Counoil of Tbbnt. 

i I. The aasembling of the Council . 
i 2. Procedure at the Council 
§ 3. Restatement of Doctrines 

The Doctrine of the Rule of Faith 
Original Sin and Justification 
4. The second meeting of the Council 
^. The third meeting of the Council 
The position of the Pope strengthened 



The Inquisition and the Index. 


i I. The Inquisition in Spain 697 

§ 2. The Inquisition in Italy • . 600 

I 3. The Index of prohibited books 602 

f 4. The Soeietjr of Jesua and the Counter-ReformatioD • • 606 







I 1. The LimUcUions of the Peace of AugAwrg. 

The Beligious Peace of Augsburg (1566) secured the legal 
recognition of the Beformation within the Holy Soman 
Empire, and consequently within European polity. Hence- 
forward States, which declared through their responsible 
rulers that they meant to live after the religion described 
in the Augsburg Confeseion^ were admitted to the comity of 
nations, and the Pope was l^lly and practically debarred 
from excommunicating them, from placing them under 
ifiUrdiU, and from inviting obedient neighbouring potentates 
to conquer and dispossess their sovereigns. The Bishop of 
Bome could no longer, according to the recognised custom 
of the Holy Boman Empire, launch a Bull against a 
Lutheran prince and expect to have its execution enforced 
as in earlier days. The Popes were naturally slow to see 
this, and had to be reminded of the altered state of matters 
more than once.^ 

* The fiorae old Pontiff, Paul nr., declared in a Bull (Feb. 16, 1669) that 
the mere faet of heresy in princes deprired them of all lawful power ; bnt he 
named no one. When his saccessor proposed, in 1668, to excommunicate 
Elizabeth of England by name simply as a Protestant, he was taken to task 
sharply by the Emperor Ferdinand ; and the Queen was finally excommuni- 
eated in 1670 as a partaker '' in the atrodoos mysteries of CalTinism," and as 
foeh oatside the Peace of Augpbnrg. 



Of course, the exalted Bomanist powers, civil and 
ecclesiastical, never meant this settlement to be lasting. 
They intrigued secretly among themselves, and fought openly, 
against it. The final determined effort to overthrow^ it 
was that hideous nightmare which goes by the name of 
the Thirty Years' War, mainly caused by the determination 
of the Jesuits that by the help of God and the devil, for 
that,. as Carlyle has remarked, was the peculiarity of the 
plan, all Germany must be brought back to the obedience of 
Holy Stepmother Church, and to submission to the Supreme 
Headship of the Holy lioman Empire — the Supreme Head- 
ship becoming more and more shadowy as the years passed. 
The settlement lasted, however, and remains in general 
outline until the present. 

But the Beligious Peace of Augsburg did not end the 
revolt against Borne which was simmering in every land 
in Western Europe. It made no provision for the multitude 
of believers in the Augsburg Cwiftsswn^ whose princes, for 
conscience* sake or for worldly policy, remained steadfast 
to Bome, save that they were to be permitted to emigrate 
to territories where the rulers were of the same faith as 
theirs. These Lutherans were to be found in every part 
of Germany, and were very abundant in the Duchy of 
Austria. The statement of Faber, the Bishop of Vienna, 
that the only good Catholics in that city were himself 
and the Archduke Ferdinand, was, of course, rhetorical; 
but it is a proof of the numbers of the followers of 

It chained irrevocably to the Bomanist creed, by the 
clause called the ecclesiastical reservation, not merely the 
people, but the rulers in the numerous ecclesiastical 
principalities scattered all over Grermany. This pro- 
vision secured that if an ecclesiastical prince adopted the 
Lutheran faith, he was to be deprived of his principality. 

1 In the AUm zar EirehenffesclueMe by Heaari and Mulert (Tubingen, 
1905), there is an attempt to represent to the eye the presence of Oennan 
Protestants outside the territories of the Lutheran princes ; Map x. £ur 
Gttehichte der detUschen Jttformaiion tmd Ckgenre/ormatum, 


It is probable that this provision did more than anything 
else to secure for the Bomanists the position they now have 
in Germany. It was partly due to the alarms excited 
by the fact that Albert of Brandenburg, Master of the 
Teutonic Knights, had secularised his land of East Prussia 
and bad become a Lutheran, and by the narrow escape of 
the province of Eoln from following in the same path, 
under its reforming archbishop, Hermann von Wied 

The Peace of Augsburg made no provision for any Pro- 
testants other than those who accepted the Augsburg Con- 
fession ; and thousands in the Palatinate and all throughout 
South Germany preferred another type of Protestant faith. 
It is probable that, had Luther lived for ten or fifteen years 
longer, the great division between the Beformed or Calvin- 
ist and the Evangelical or Lutheran Churches would have 
been bridged over; but after his death his successors, 
intent to maintain, as they expressed it, the deposit of 
truth which Luther had left, actually ostracised Melanchthon 
for his endeavour to heal the breach. The consequence 
was that the Lutheran Church vrithin Germany after 1555 
lost large districts to the Beformed Church. 

Under Elector Frederick m., sumamed the Pious, the 
territorial Church of the Palatinate separated from the 
circle of Lutheran Churches, and in 1563 the Heidelberg 
Catechism was published This celebrated doctrinal formula 
at once became, and has remained, the distinctive creed of 
the various branches of the Beformed Church within 
Germany ; and its influence extended even farther. 

Bremen followed the example of the Palatinate in 
1568. Its divines publishec) a doctrinal DeelarcUion in 
1572| and a more lengthy Oonsenstis Bremenenw in 1595. 
Anhalt, under its ruler John George (1587-1603), did 
away with the consistorial system of Church government, 
and abandoned the use of Luther's Catechism. Hesse- 
Cassel joined the circle of German Beformed Churches in 
1605. These examples were followed in many smaller 
principalities, most of which, imitating all the Beformed 
Churches, published separate and distinctive confessions of 


faith, which were nevertheless supposed to contam the sum 
and substance of the common Beformed creed.^ 

These Grerman principalities, rulers and inhabitants, 
placed themselves deliberately outside the protection of the 
Religious Peace of Augsburg. The fundamental principles 
of their faith were not very different from the Lutheran, 
but they were important enough to make them forego 
the protection which the treaty afforded. Setting aside 
minor differences and sentiments, perhaps more powerful 
than doctrines, their separation from neighbouring Pro- 
testants was based on their objection to the doctrine of 
Ubiquity, essential to the Lutheran theory of the Sacrament 
of the Supper, and to the consistorial system of ecclesi- 

* The fullest aocount of theee Germui Beformed oonfesrions is to be fouid 
in MQUer's Die BekenwtninehrifUn der reformirUn Kirehe — the Smden 
CaUehigm (1654), pp. 1 and 666 ; the Heidelberg CaUekism (1668), pp. 1, 
662 ; the Hasaau Cor^emon of the DiUenburg Synod (1578), liii, 720 ; the 
Bremen Canaenme (1596), liv, 789 ; the Staffori Booh (1559) for Baden, \\y, 
797 ; the Confenion of the Oeneral Synod qf Casaei, It and 817, and the 
ffesnan Caieehism (1607), 822 ; and the Bentheim Confeaaion (1618), 883. 
All theae German Reformed oonfeasions followed Melanchthon in hia 
endeavours to unite the CalTinist and the Lutheran doctrinal positions. 

By far the most oelebrated, and the only one which maintains its plaoe 
as a doctrinal symbol down to the present day, is the Htidelherg CaieeKitWL, 
It was drafted at the suggestion of the Elector Frederick the Pious by two 
theologians, Caspar Olevianus and Zacharias Ursinus, who were able to 
express in a really remarkable degree the thoughts of Oennan Protebtants 
who could not accept the hard and fast Lutheranism of the opponents of 
Melanchthon. It speedily found favour in many parts of Germany, although 
its strongest supporters belonged to the Rhine provinces. It was in use 
both as a means of instruction and as a doctrinal symbol in most of the 
German Reformed Churches along with their own symbolical books. Its 
use spread to Holland and beyond it Two separate translations appeared 
in Scotland. The earlier is contained in (Dunlop's) Collection of Con/lusione 
of Faith, . . . ofpMie authority in the Church (^ Scotland, under the title, 
A Cateehittn <f the Christian Beligion, composed hy Zdchary Ursin, approved 
hy Frederick III, EUetor Palatine, the Beformed Church in the FalatinaU, 
and hy other Beformed Churches in Germany; and taught in their schools 
and churches : examined and approved, withoui any alteration, hy the Synod 
qf Dort, and appointed to he taught in the reformed churches and schools in 
the Neiherlands : translated and printed Anno 1691 hy public a/iUhorUy for 
the use cf SecUand, wUh the arguments and use of the several doctrines therein 
contained, hy Jeremieu BatUngius; sometimes printed vnth the Book q/ 
Common Order and Fsalm Book, 


astical government. They repudiated the two portions of 
the Lutheran system which were derived professedly from 
the mediaeval Church, and insisted on basing their exposi- 
tion of doctrine and their scheme of ecclesiastical govern- 
ment more directly on the Word of God. They had come 
in contact with another reformation movement, had 
recognised its sturdier principles, and had become so 
enamoured of them that they felt compelled to leave the 
Lutheran Church for the Beformed. 

Still confining ourselves to Germany, it is to be noticed 
that the Augsburg Confession ostentatiously and over and 
over again separated those who accepted it from protesters 
against the mediaeval Church, who were called Anabaptists. 
It repudiated views supposed to be held by them on 
Baptism, the Holy Scripture, the possibility of a life of 
sinless perfection, and the relation of Christian men to the 
magistracy. In some of the truces arranged between the 
Emperor and the evangelical princes, — truces which antici- 
pated the religious Peace of Augsburg, — attempts were 
made to induce Lutherans and Bomanists to unite in sup- 
pressing those sectaries. It is needless to say that they 
were not included in the settlement in 1555. Yet they 
had spread all over Germany, endured with constancy 
bloody persecutions, and from them have come the large 
and influential Baptist Churches in Europe and America. 
From beginning to end they were outside the Lutheran 

§ 2. The Beformation outside Germany, 

When we go beyond Germany and survey the other 
countries of Western Europe, it is abundantly evident that 
the story of the Lutheran movement from its beginning 
down to its successful issue in the Beligious Peace of 
Augsburg is only a small part of the history of the Be- 
formation. France, Great Britain^ the Netherlands, 
Bohemia, Hungary, even Italy, Spain, and Poland, throbbed 
with the religious revival of the sixteenth century, and its 


manifestations in these lands differed in many respects 
from that which belonged to Grermany. All shared 
with Germany the common experiences, intellectual and 
religious, political and economic, of that period of transition 
which is called the Renaissance in the wider sense of the 
word — the transition from mediseval to modem life.^ They 
had all come to the parting of the ways. They had all 
emerged from Mediffivalism, and all saw the wider outlook 
which was the heritage of the time. All felt the 
same longing to shake themselves clear of the incubus of 
clericalism which weighed heavily on their national life, 
whether religious or political Each land went forward, 
marching by its own path marked out for it by its past 
history, intellectual, religious, and civil. The movements 
in these various countries towards a freer and more real 
religious life cannot be described in the same general terms ; 
but if Italy and Spain be excepted, their attempts at a 
national reformation had one thing in common which 
definitely separated them from the Lutheran movement. 

§ 3. The Beformed type of Doctrine, 

If the type of doctrine professed by the Protestants 
in those countries be considered (confessedly a partial, one- 
sided, and imperfect standard), it may be said that they all 
refused to accept some of the distinctive Lutheran dogmatic 
conclusions, and that they all departed more ¥ridely from 
some of the conceptions of the Mediaeval Church. Their 
national confessions in their final forms borrowed more 
from Zurich and Geneva than from Wittenberg, and they 
all belong to the Beformed as distinguished from theLutheran 
or Evangelical circle of creeds.* It was perhaps natural 

^ Gompftre toI. L pt. L 42 ff* 

* The most complete collection of those Befonned creeds is giren in 
Mttller, Dm Bekenntnisschri/Un der reformirim Kirche (Leipzig, 1908). 
The most important are the following (the figures within brackets give the 
pages in Mttller) :— • 

SwiTZBRLAND.— Zwingli's Theses of 1523 (zvi, 1) ; First Helvetic Cofi^es- 
sicn of 1686 (xxvi, 101); Geneva Cof[fession of 1586 (xxvi, 111); Geneva 


that differences in the ritual and theory of the Holy 
Supper, the Tery apex and crown of Christian Public 
Worship, should be to the general eye the visible cleavage 
between rival forms of Christianity. In the earlier stages 
of the Beformation movement, the great popular distinction 
between the Bomanists and Protestants was that the one 
refused and the other admitted the laity to partake of the 
Cup of Communion; and later, within an orthodox Pro- 
testantism, the thought of ubiquUy was the dividing line. 
The Lutherans asserted and the Bef ormed denied or ignored 
the d^etrine; and those confessions took the Beformed 

§ 4. Tht Beformed ideal qf Eedesiastical Oovemmeni. 

This similarity of published creed was the one positive 
bond which united all those Churches ; but it may also be 
said that all of them, with the doubtful exception of the 
Church of England,^ would have nothing to do with the 
consistorial system of the Lutheran Churches, and that 
most of them accepted in theory at least Calvin's concep- 
tion of ecclesiastical government. They strove to get 
away from the mediaeval ideas of ecclesiastical rule, and to 
return to the principles which they believed to be laid 
down for them in the New Testament, illustrated by the 
conduct of the Church of the early centuries. The Church, 

Caieekitm of 1646 [(xxviii, 117) translAted in (Dnnlop's) Cof^eations, etc., ii, 

Ekolakd. — Edwardine FoHy-two Articles of 1568, Thirty -eight Artielea 
of 1668, ThiHy-nine AHieles of 1671 (xlii, 605) ; Lambeth Artielea of 1595 
(xlW, 626) ; Irish AHieles of 1616 (zliy, 526). 

8coTLAiii},—SecUiah Con/sssion of 1560, National CovenaiU of 1581 
[(xxzT, 249), (Dnnlop's) Coirfessians^ etc., ii. pp. 21 and 108]. 

Fbakcb.— OScMi^Miio Oallieana of 1669 (zzxii, 221). 

MKrmuiLANDe. — Oonfsssio Belgiea of 1561 (xzxiv, 288) ; Netherlands 
Cai^sssisn of 1666 (xzzt, 986) ; Frisian Confessum of 1528 (zxi, 930). 

HuKOABT. — Hungarian ConfemoH of 1562 (xxyiii, 876). 

BoHEMiA.~^oAemtaii Cin^enion of 1609 (xxxix, 453). 

^ It has been suggested that the ecclesiastical jurisdictioii which grew 
oat of the Elizabethan settlement of religion in England borrowed not a few 
ehancterisilcs from the Lutheran consistorial courts. 


according to Calvin, was a theocratic democracy, and the 
ultimate source of authority lay in the membership of the 
Christian community, inspired by the Presence of Christ 
promised to all His people. But in the sixteenth century 
this conception was confronted and largely qualified in 
practice, by the dread that it might lead to a return to the 
clerical tutelage of the mediaeval Church from which they 
had just escaped. Presbyter might become priest writ 
large ; and the leaders of the Bef ormation in many lands 
could see, as Zwingli did in Zurich and Cranmer in 
England, that the civil authorities might well represent 
the Christian democracy. Even Calvin in Geneva had to 
content himself ¥rith ecclesiastical ordinances which left 
the Church completely under the control otles tr^ hannar^ 
seigneurs syndicques et conseil de Qenh)e ; and the Scottish 
Church in 1572 had to recognise that the King was the 
" Supreme Governor of this realm as well in things 
temporal as in the conservation and purgation of religion." 
The nations and principalities in Western Europe which 
had adopted and supported the Reformation believed that 
manifold abuses had arisen in the past, directly and 
indirectly, through the exemption of the Church and its 
possessions from secular control, and they were determined 
not to permit the possibility of a return to such a state of 
things. The scholarship of the Benaissance had discovered 
the true text of the old Boman Civil Code, and one of 
the features of that time of transition — perhaps its most 
important and far-reaching feature, for law enters into 
every relation of human life — was the substitution of civil 
law based on the Codes of Justinian and Theodosius, for 
canon law based on the Decretum of Gratian. These 
old Boman codes taught the lawyers and statesmen of the 
sixteenth century to look upon the Church as a depart- 
ment of the State; and the thought that the Christian 
community had an independent life of its own, and that 
its guidance and discipline ought to be in the hands of 
office-bearers chosen by its membership, was everywhere 
confronted, modified, largely overthrown by the imperious 


daim of the civilian lawyers. Ecclesiastical leaders within 
the Beformed Churches might strive as they liked to draw 
the line between the possessions of the Church, which they 
willingly placed under the control of civil law, and its 
discipline in matters of faith and morals, which they 
declared to be the inalienable possession of the Church ; 
buty as a rule, the State refused to perceive the distinction, 
and insisted in maintaining full control over the ecclesi- 
astical jurisdiction. Hence it came about that in every 
land where the secular authorities were fovourable to the 
Reformation, the Church became more or less subject to 
the State ; and this resulted in a large variety of epclesiasti- 
cal organisations in communities all belonging to the Be- 
formed Church. While it may be said with perfect truth 
that the churchly ideal in the minds of the leaders in most 
of the Beformed Churches was to restore the theocratic 
democracy of the early centuries, and that this was a 
strong point of contrast between them and Luther, who 
insisted that the jus episeopaie belonged to the civil 
magistrate, in practice the secular authorities in Switzerland, 
the Netherlands, the Palatinate, etc., kept almost as tight a 
hold on the Beformed national Churches as did the Lutheran 
princes and municipalities. In one land only, France, the 
ecclesiastical ideal of Calvin had full liberty to embody 
itself in a constitution, and that only because the French 
Beformed Church struggled into existence under the civil 
rule of a Bomanist State, and, like the Christian Church 
of the early centuries, maintained itself in spite of the 
opposition of the secular authorities which persecuted it. 

§ 5. The Influence of ffumaniem on the Beformed Churches, 

The portion of the Beformation which lay outside the 
Peace of Augsburg had another characteristic which dis- 
tinguished it from the Lutheran Beformation included 
within the treaty — it owed much more to Humanism. 
Erasmus and what he represented had a greater share in 
its birth and early progress, and his influence appeared 


amidst the most dissimilar 8arromiding& Hemy Yin. and 
Zwingli seem to stand at opposite poles ; yet the English 
autocrat and the Swiss democrat were alike in this, that 
they owed much to Erasmus, and that the reformations 
which they respectively led were laigely prompted by the 
impulse of Humanism. One has only to compare the 
Bishops' Book and the King's Book of the Henrican period 
in England with the many statements Erasmus has made 
about the kind of reformation he desired to see, to recognise 
that they were meant to serve for a reformation in life 
and morals which would leave untouched the fundamental 
doctrinal system of the mediaeval Church and its organisa- 
tion in accordance with the principles laid down by the 
great Humanist. The Bible, the Apostles', Nicene, and 
Athanasian Greeds, with the doctrinal decisions of the first 
four CEcumenical Councils, were recognised as the standards 
of orthodoxy in the Ten Articles ; and the Scholastic Theo- 
logy, so derided by Erasmus, was contemptuously ignored. 
The accompanying Injunctions set little store by pilgrimageSy 
relics, and indulgences, and the other superstitions of the 
popular religious life which the great Humanist had treated 
sarcastically. The two books alluded to above are full 
of instructions for leading a wholesome life. The whole 
programme of reformation is laid down on lines borrowed 
from Erasmus. 

Zwingli was under the influence of Humanism from 
his boyhood. His young intellect was fed on the master- 
pieces of classical antiquity — Cicero, Homer, and Pindar. 
His favourite teacher was Thomas Wyttenbach, who was 
half a Beformer and half a pure follower of Erasmus. No 
man influenced him more than the learned Dutchman. It 
was his guidance and not the example of Luther which 
made him study the Scriptures and the theologians of the 
early Church, such as Origen, Jerome, and Chrysostom. 
The influence and example of Erasmus can be seen even 
in hiJB attempts to create a rational theory of the Holy 
Supper. His reformation, in its beginning more especially, 
was much more an intellectual than a religious movement. 


It aimed at a clearer understanding of the Holy Scriptures; 
at the purgation of the popular religious life bom idolatry 
and superstition, and at a clearly reasoned out scheme of 
inteUectual belief. The deeper religious impulse which 
drove Luther, step by step, in his path of revolt from the 
mediaeval Church was lacking in ZwinglL He owed little 
to Wittenberg, much to Rotterdam. It was this con- 
nection with Erasmus that created the sympathy between 
Zwingli and such early Dutch Beformers as Christopher 
Hoes, and made the Swiss Beformer a power in the 
earlier stages of the Seformation in the Netherlanda 

The beginnings of the Beformation movement in France, 
Italy, and Spain were even more closely allied to 

If the preparation for reformation to be found in the 
work and teaching of mediaeval evangelical nonconformists 
like the Fieards be set aside, the b^innings of the Se- 
formation in France must be traced to the small group 
of Christian Humanists who * surrounded Marguerite 
d'AngpulSme and Briqonnet the Bishop of Meaux. 
Marguerite herself and Jacques Lef^vre d'Etaples, the 
real leader of the group of scholars and preachers, found 
solace for soul troubles in the Christian Platonism to 
which so many of the Humanists north and south of the 
Alps bad given themselves. The aim of the little circle 
of enthusiasts was a reformation of the Church and of 
society on the lines laid down by Erasmus. They looked 
to reform without ** tumult," to a reformation of the Church 
by the Church and within the Church, brought about by 
a study of the Scriptures, and especially of the Epistles 
of St Paul, by individual Christians weaning themselves 
from the world while they remained in society, and by 
slowly leavening the people with the enlightenment which 
the New Learning was sure to bring. They cared little 
for theology, much for intimacy with Christ; little for 
external changes in institutions, much for personal piety. 
Their efforts had little visible effect, and their ma media 
between the stubborn defenders of Scholasticism on the 


one hand and more thorough Reformers on the other, was 
found to be an impossible path to persevere in; but it 
must not be forgotten that they did much to prepare 
France for the Beformation movement which they really 
inaugurated; nor that William Farel, the precursor of 
Calvin himself in Geneva, belonged to the "group of 

If Humanism influenced the " group of Meaux/' who 
were the advance guard of the French Beformation, it 
manifested itself no less powerfully in the training of 
Calvin, who in 1536 unconsciously became the leader of 
the movement. He was one of the earliest and most 
enthusiastic students of the band of "royal lecturers" 
appointed by Francis i. to give France the benefits of the 
New Learning. He had intimate personal relations with 
Bud^ and Cop, who were allied to the ** group of Meaux," 
and were leaders among the Humanists in the University. 
His earliest, book, a Commentary on the De CUmerUia of 
Seneca, shows how wide and minute was his knowledge of 
the Greek and Latin classical authors. Like Erasmus, 
he does not seem to have been much influenced by the 
mystical combination of Platonism and Christianity which 
entranced the Christian Humanists of Italy and filled the 
minds of the ** group of Meaux '* ; and like him he broke 
through the narrow circle of elegant trifling within which 
most of the Italian scholars were confined, and used the 
New Learning for modern purposes. Humanism taught 
him to think imperially in the best fashion of ancient 
Bome, to see that great moral ideas ought to rule in the 
government of men. It filled him with a generous 
indignation at the evils which flowed from an abuse of 
absolute and arbitrary power. The young scholar (he 
was only three-and-twenty) attacked the governmental 
abuses of the times with a boldness which revived the best 
traditions of Boman statesmanship. He denounced venal 
judges who made ''justice a public merchandisa" He 
declared that princes who jslew their people or subjected 
them to wholesale persecution were not legitimate rulers, 


but brigands, and that brigands were the enemies of the 
whole human race. At a time when persecution was 
prevalent everywhere, the Commentary of the young 
Humanist pleaded for tolerance in language as lofty as 
Milton employed in his Areqpagitica, He was not blind 
to the defects of the stoical morality displayed in the 
book he commented upon. He contrasted the stoical 
indifference with Christian sympathy, and stoical in- 
dividualism with the thought of Christian society; but 
he seized upon and made his own the loftier moral ideas 
in Stoicism, and applied them to public life. Luther was 
great, none greater, in holding up the liberty of the 
Christian man ; but there he halted, or advanced beyond 
it with very faltering step. Humanism taught Calvin 
the claims and the duties of the Christian society; he 
proclaimed them aloud, and his thoughts spread through- 
out that portion of the fieformation which followed his 
leadership and accepted his principles. The Holy 
Scriptures, St. Augustine, and the imperial ethics of the 
old Boman Stoicism coming through Humanism, were a 
trinity of influence on all the Reformed Churches. 

The fieformation in Spain and Italy was only a brief 
episode; but in' its shortlived existence in these lands, 
Humanism was one of the greatest forces suppoi*ting it 
and giving it strength. In both countries the young life 
was quenched in the blood of martyrs. So quickly did 
it pass, that it seems surprising to learn that Erasmus 
confidently expected that Spain would be the land to 
accomplish the fieformation without " tumult ** which he so 
long looked forward to and expected ; that the Scriptures 
were read throughout the Spanish peninsula, and that 
women vied with men in knowledge of their contents, 
during the earlier part of the sixteenth century. 

§ 6. What the Beformtd Churches owed to Lather, 

There was, then, a fieformation movement which in 
its earliest beginnings and in its final outcome was quite 


distinct from that under the leadership of Luther ; but it 
would be erroneous to say that it was altogether outside 
Luther'9 influence, and that it owed little or nothing to 
the great German Beformer. It is vain to speculate on 
what might have been, or to ask whether the undoubted 
movements making for reformation in lands outside 
Qermany would have come to fruition had not Luther's 
trumpet-call sounded over Europe. It is enough to 
state what did actually occur. If it cannot be said that 
the b^nnings of the Beformation in every land came 
from Luther, it can scarcely be denied that he gave to his 
contemporaries the inspiration of courage and of assured 
conviction. He delivered men from the fear of priest- 
craft; he taught men, in a way that no other did, 
that redemption was not a secret science practised by the 
priests within an institution called the Church ; that all 
believers had the privilege of direct access to the very 
presence of God ; and that the very thought of a priest- 
hood who ala^^ev could mediate between God and man was 
both superfluous and irreconcilable with the truest instincts 
of the Christian religion. His teaching had a sounding 
board of dramatic environment which compelled men to 
listen, to attend, to be impressed, to understand, and to 

He had been and was a deeply pious man, with the 
piety of the type most esteemed by his contemporaries, 
and therefore easily understood and sympathised with by 
the common man. His piety had driven him into the 
convent, as then seemed both natural and necessary; 
Inside the monastery he had lived the life of a '' young 
saint " — 80 his fellow monks believed, when, in the fashion 
of the day and of their class, they boasted that they had 
among them one destined to revive again the best type 
of mediaeval saintship. No coarse, vulgar sins of the flesh, 
common enough at the time and easily condoned, smirched 
his young Ufe. When he attained to peace in believing, 
he had no doubt of his vocation ; no sudden wrench tore 
him away from the approved religious life of his time ; no 


intellectual doubt separated him from the beliefs of his 
Church. His very imperviousness to the intellectual 
liberalising tendencies of Humanism made him all the 
more fit to be a trusted religious leader. He went 
forward step by step with such a slow, sure foot-tread 
that the common man could see and follow. When he 
did come forward as a Beformer he did not run amuck at 
things in general He felt compelled to attack the (me 
portion of the popular religious life of the times which 
all men who gave the slightest thought to religion felt to 
be a gross abusa The way he dealt with it revealed that 
he was the great religious genius of his age — an age which 
was imperatively if confusedly calling for reform within 
the sphere of religion. 

If to be original means simply to be the first to see 
and make known a single truth or a fresh aspect of a 
truth, it is possible to contest the claim of Luther to be 
an original thinker. It would not be difficult to point 
out anticipations of almost every sepa.h>) truth which 
he taught to his generation. To take two only — 
Wesael had denounced indulgences in language so similar 
to Luther's, that, when the Beformer read it long after the 
publication of the Theses, he could say that people might 
well imagine that he had simply borrowed from the old 
Dutch theologian ; and Lef^vre d'Etaples had taught the 
doctrine of justification by faith before it had fiashed on 
Luther's soul with all the force of a revelation. But if 
originality be the gift to seize, to combine into one 
organic whole, separate isolated truths, to see their bearing 
upon the practical religious life of all men, educated and 
ignorant, to use the new light to strip the conmion 
religious life of all paralysing excrescences, to simplify 
it and to make it clear that the sum and essence of 
Christianity is '^unwavering trust of the heart in Him 
who has given Himself to us in Christ Jesus as our 
Father, personal assurance of faith because Christ with 
His work undertakes our cause," and to do all this trith 
the tenderest sympathy for every true dumb religious 


instiBct which had made men wander away from the 
simplicity which is in Christ Jesus, then Lather stands 
alone in his day and generation, unapproachable by any 

Hence it was that to the common people in every land 
in Europe up till about 1540, when Calvin's individuality 
began to make itself felt, Luther represented the Beforma- 
tion ; and all who accepted the new teaching were known 
as Lutherans, whether in England, the Low Countries, 
France, or French speaking Switzerland.^ 

Ecclesiastical historians of the Beformed Church 
from the sixteenth century downward have often been 
inclined to share Luther's supremacy with ZwinglL 
The Swiss Beformer was gifted with many qualities 
which Luther lacked. He stood in freer relation 
to the doctrines and practices of the mediaeval Church, 
and his scheme of theology was perhaps wider and 
truer than Luther'a He had a keener intellectual insight, 
and was quicbar to discern the true doctrinal tendencies 
of their common religious verities. But the way in which 
he regarded indulgences, and his manner of protesting 
against them, showed his great inferiority to Luther as a 
religious guide. 

" Oh the folly of it 1 *• said Zwingli with his master 
Erasmus, — ** the crass, unmitigated stupidity of it all I " and 
they scorned it, and laughed at it, and attacked it with the 
light keen shafts of raillery and derisive wit. " Oh the 
pity of it I " said Luther ; and he turned men travelling by 
the wrong road on their quest for pardon (a real quest 
for them) into the right path. Zwingli never seemed 
to see that under the purchase of indulgences, the tramp- 
ing on pilgrimages from shrine to shrine, the kissing, 
reverencing, and adoring of relics, there was a real 

^ William Farel, a devoted Zwinglian, was called a ** Latheran preacher" 
bj the authorities of Freiburg (Hermiigard, Carreipondanee, ii. 205 n.), and 
the teaching of himself and his colleagues was denounced as the " Lutheran 
heresy." This was the j)(>pu^r view. Educated and reforming Frenchmen 
like Leievre discriminated : they had no great liking for Luther, and 
admired Zwingli (md. i. 209 n.). 


inarticulate cry for pardon of sins felt if not vividly 
repented of. Luther knew it, and sympathised with it. 
He was a man of the people, not merely because he was a 
peasant's son and had studied at a burgher University, but 
•because he had shared the religion of the common people. 
He had felt with them that the repeated visits of the 
plague, the new mysterious diseases, the dread of the 
Turks, were punishments sent by God because of the sins 
of the generation. He had gone through it all ; plunged 
more deeply in the terror, writhed more hopelessly under 
the wrath of God, wandered farther on the wrong path in 
his quest for pardon, and at last had seen the ''Beatific 
Vision." The deepest and truest sympathy with fellow- 
men and the vision of God are needed to make a Beformer 
of the first rank, and Luther had both as no other man had, 
during the first quarter of the sixteenth century. 

So men listened to him all over Europe wherever 
there had been a stirring of the heart for reformation, 
and it would be hard to say where there had been none. 
Czechs, Hungarians, and Poles in the east; Spaniards, 
Englishmen, Frenchmen, Dutch, and Scots in the west; 
Swedes in the north, and Italians in the south — all 
welcomed, and read, and were moved by what Luther 
wrote. First the Theses, then sermons and tracts, then 
the trumpet call To the Nobility of the Oerman Nation 
and the Prcdvdium to the Babylonian Captivity of the 
Church of Christy and, above all, his booklet On the 
Liberty of a Christian Man, As men read, what had 
been only a hopeful but troubled dream of the night 
became a vision in the light of day. They heard pro- 
claimed aloud in clear unfaltering speech what they 
had scarcely dared to whisper to themselves. Fond and 
devout imaginations became religious certaintiea They 
risked all to get possession of the sayings of this " man of 
God." Cautious, dour Scotch burghers ventured ship and 
cargo for the sake of the little quarto tracts hid in the 
bales of cloth which came to the ports of Dundee and 
Leith. Oxford and Cambridge students passed them 



from hand to hand in epite of Wolsey's proclamations and 
Warham'a precautions. Luther's vrritings were eagerly 
studied in Paris by town and University as early as May 
1519.^ Spanish merchants bought Luther's books at the 
Frankfurt Fair, spent some of their hard won profits in 
getting them translated and printed in Spanish, and 
carried them over the Pyrenees on their pack mules. 
Under the influence of these writings the Beformation took 
shape, was something more than the devout imagination 
of a few pious thinkers, and became an endeavour to give 
expression to common religious certainties in change of 
creed, institutions, and worship. Thus Luther helped the 
Beformation in every land. The actual b^innings in 
England, France, the Netherlands, and elsewhere had come 
into existence years before Luther had become known ; it 
is possible that the movements might have come to fruition 
apart from his efforts ; but the influence of his writings was 
like that of the sun when it quickens and makes the seed 
sprout that has been " happed " in a tilled and sown field. 

§ 7. National Ctiaraeteristics. 

It was not that the Beformation in any of these 
countries was to become Lutheran in the end, or had a 
Lutheran stage of development. The number of genuine 
Lutherans outside Germany and Scandinavia wets very 
small Here and there a stray one was to be found, like 
Dr. Barnes in England or Louis Berquin in Franca One 
of the deepest principles of the great Beformer's teaching 
itself checked the idea of a purely Lutheran Beformation 

^ Peter Tschudi, writing to BeatuB RhenaDUB from Paris (May 17th, 1519) 
says: ''Reliqui, quod equidem Uteris digniim censeam, nil superest, qnam 
If. Lntheri opera ab universa eruditorum oohorte obviis ulnis excipi, etiam 
lis qui minimum sapiunt plausibilia" (Hermiigard, CarretpondcMee dn 
BifomuUeurs dans let pays de Iwngue fran^ise, 2nd ed. i. 46). In Nov. 
1520, Glareanus wrote to Zwingli that Paris was excited over the Leipzig 
Disputation ; and Buleeus shows that twenty copies •f a pamphlet, entitled 
DisputcUio inter egregias viros et doetores Joa, Eekium U M, Lutiurwrn, 
arrived in Paris on Jan. 20th, 1520 {ibid, 62, 63 fk). 


which would embrace the whole Beformation Church. 
He taught that the practical exercise of faith ought to 
manifest itself within the great institutions of human 
life which have their origin in God — in marriage, the 
tsxQjljy the calling, and the State, in the ordinary life we 
kad with its environment. Nations have their character 
and characteristics as well as individual men, and they 
mould in natural ways the expression in creed and 
institution of the religious certainties shared by alL The 
Beformation in England was based on the same spiritual 
facts and forces which were at work in France, Germany, 
and the Netherlands, but each land had its own ways of 
embodying them. It is interesting to note how national 
habits, memories, and even prejudices compelled the external 
embodiment to take very varying shapes, and force the 
historian to describe the Beformation in each country as 
something by itself. 

The new spiritual life in England took a shape 
distinctly marked out for it by the almost forgotten 
reformatory movement under Wiclif which had been 
native to the soil. Scotland might have been expected 
to follow the lead of England, and bring her ecclesiastical 
reconstruction into harmony with that of her new and 
powerful ally. The English alliance was the great 
political fact of the Scottish Beformation, and leading 
statesmen in both countries desired the still nearer 
approach which conformity in the organisation of the 
Churches could not fail to foster. But the memory of the 
old French alliance was too strong for Cecil and Lethington, 
and Scotland took her methods of Church government from 
France (not from Geneva), and drifted farther and farther 
away from the model of the English settlement. The 
fifteenth century War of the Public Weal repeated itself in 
the Wars of Beligion in France ; and in the Edict of Nantes 
the Beformed Church was offered and accepted guarantees 
for her independence such as a feudal prince might have 
demanded. The old political local independence which had 
characterised the Low Countries in the later Middle Ages 


reasserted itself in the ecclesiastical arrangements of the 
Netherland& The civic republics of Switzerland demanded 
and received an ecclesiastical form of government which 
suited the needs of their social and political life. 

Tet amidst all this diversity there was the prevailing 
sense of an underlying unity, and the knowledge that each 
national Church was part of the Catholic Church Reformed 
was keener than among the Lutheran Churches. Protest- 
ant England in the time of Edward VI. welcomed and sup- 
ported refugees banished by the Augsburg Interim from 
Strassburg. Frankfurt I'eceived and provided for families 
who fled from the Marian persecutions in England. 
Geneva became a city of refuge for oppressed Protestants 
from every land, and these strangers frequently added quite 
a third to her population The feeling of fraternity was 
maintained, as in the days of the early Church, by constant 
interchange of letters and messengers, and correspondence 
gave a sense of unity which it was impossible to embody 
in external political organisation. The sense of a common 
danger was also a wonderful bond of kinship ; and the 
feeling that Philip of Spain was always plotting their 
destruction, softened inter-ecclesiastical jealousies. The 
same sort of events occurred in all the Churches at almost 
the same times. The Colloquy of Westminster (1559) was 
separated from the Colloquy of Poissy (1561) by an 
interval of two years only, and the same questions were 
discussed at both. Queen Elizabeth openly declared her- 
self a Protestant by partaking of the communion in both 
" kinds " at Easter, 1559 ; and on the same day Antoine de 
Bourbon, King of Navarre, made the same profession in the 
same way at Pau in the south of France. Mary of Guise 
resolved that the same festival should see the Scots united 
under the old faith, and thus started the overt rebellion 
which ended in Scotland becoming a Protestant nation. 

The course of the Reformation in each country must be 
described separately, and yet it is the one story with 
differences due to the accidents of national temperaments, 
memories, and pohtical institutiona 




§ 1. The political Condition of Switzerland} 

SwiTZSBLAND in the sixteenth century was like no other 
country in Europe. It was as divided as Germany or Italy, 
and yet it had a unity which they could not boast. It was 
a confederation or little republic of communes and towns of 
the primitive Teutonic type, in which the executive power 
was vested in the community. The various cantons were 
all independent, but they were banded together in a com- 
mon league, and they had a federal flag — a white cross on 
a red ground, which bore the motto, *' Each for all, and all 
for each.'' 

The separate members of the Federation had come into 
existence in a great variety of ways, and all retained the 
distinctive marks of their earlier history. The beginnings 
go back to the thirteenth century, when the three Forest 
cantons, Schwyz, Uri, and Unterwalden, having freed them- 
selves from the dominion of their feudal lords, formed 
themselves into a Perpetual League (1291), in which they 
pledged themselves to help each other to maintain the 
liberty they had won. After the battle of Morgarten they 
renewed the League at Brunnen (1315), promising again to 
aid each other against all usurping lords. Hapsburg, the 
cradle of the Imperial House of Austria, lies on the south- 

^ A. Bniiet, Les Origines d$ la Confederation Suisse : Ristoire et L^ffende 
(Geneya, 1869); J. Dieraaer, OeaehiehU der tehweiurischtn Eidgenosset^ 
sOaft (Qotha, 1890). 



east bank of the river Aare, and the dread of this great 

feudal family strengthened the bonds of the League ; while 

the victories of the independent peasants over the House of 

Austria, and later over the Duke of Burgundy, increased its 

reputation. The three cantons grew to be thirteen — 

Schwyz, Uri, Unterwalden, Luzem, Zurich, Bern, Glarus, 

Zug, Freiburg, Basel, Scha£Fhau8en, Solothum, and 

Appenzell. Other districts, without becoming members of 

the League, sought its protection, such as the Yalais and the 

town and country under the Abbey of St. Gallen. Other 

leagues were formed on its model among the peasantry of 

the Shsetian Alps — in 1396 the League of the House of 

Ood (Ida da Ca* BS) — at the head of which was the 

Church at Chur; in 1424 the Oraubilnden (Ida Grischa 

or Gray League) ; in 1436 the League of the Ten Jurisiie^ 

tions (Ida delta desch Dretturas). These three united in 

1471 to make the Three Perpetuai Leagues of Rhaticu 

They were in close alliance with the Swiss cantons from 

the fifteenth century, but did not become actual members of 

the Swiss Confederacy until 1803. The Confederacy also 

made some conquests, and the districts conquered were 

generally governed on forms of mutual agreement between 

several cantons — a complicated system which led to many 

bickerings, and intensified the quarrels which religion gave 

rise to in the sixteenth century. 

Each of these thirteen cantons preserved its own inde- 
pendence and its own mode of government. . Their political 
organisation was very varied, and dependent to a large 
extent on their past history. The Forest cantons were 
communes of peasant proprietors, dwelling in inaccessible 
valleys, and their Diet was an assembly of all the male 
heads of families. Zurich was a manufacturing and com- 
mercial town which had grown up under the protection of 
an old ecclesicistical settlement whose foundation went back 
to an age beyond that, of Charles the Great. Bern was 
originally a hamlet, nestling under the fortified keep of an 
^Id feudal family. In Zurich the nobles made one of the 
** guildB " of the town, and the constitution was thoroughly 


democratic. Bern, 09 the other hand, was an aristocratic 
republic. But in all, the power in the last resort belonged 
to the people, who were all freemen with full rights of 

The Swiss had little experience of episcopal government. 
Their relations with the Papacy had been entirely political 
or commercial, the main article of commerce being soldiers 
to form the Pope's bodyguard, and infantry for his Italian 
wars, and the business had been transacted through Legates. 
Most of the territory of Switzerland was ecclesisistically 
divided between the archiepiscopal provinces of Mainz and 
Be8an<^n, and the river Aare was the boundary between 
them. The division went back to the beginning of Christi- 
anity in the land. The part of Switzerland which lay to- 
wards France had been Christianised by Roman or Gallic 
missionaries ; while the rest, which sloped towards Germany, 
had been won to Christianity by Irish preachers! Basel 
and Lausanne figure as bishoprics under Besangon ; while 
Constance, a bishopric under Mainz, asserted episcopal rights 
over Zurich and the neighbourhood. The rugged, mountain- 
ous part of the country was vaguely claimed for the pro- 
vince of Mainz without being definitely assigned to any 
diooeea This contributed to make the Swiss people singu- 
larly independent in all ecclesiastical matters, and taught 
them to manage their Church affairs for themselves. 

Even in Zurich, which acknowledged the ecclesiastical 
jurisdiction of the Bishop of Constance, the Coimcil 
insisted on its right of supervising Church properties, and 
convents were under State inspection. 

In the beginning of the sixteenth century, intercourse 
with their neighbours was changing the old simple manners 
of the Swiss. Their repeated victories over Charles the 
Bold of Burgundy had led to the belief that the Swiss 
infantry was the best in Europe, and nations at war with 
each other were eager to hire Swiss troops. The custom 
had gradually grown up among the Swiss cantons of 
hiring out soldiers to those who paid best for them. These 
mercenaries, demoralised by making merchandise of their 


lives in quarrels not their own, and by spending their pay 
in riotous living when they returned to their native 
valleys, were corrupting the population of the Confederacy. 
The system was demoralising in another way. The two 
great Powers that trafficked in Swiss infantry were 
France and the Papacy ; and the French king on the one 
hand, and the Pope on the other, not merely kept per- 
manent agents in the various Swiss cantons, but gave 
pensions to leading citizens to induce them to persuade 
the canton to which they belonged to hire soldiers to the 
one side or the other. Zwingli, in his earlier days, 
believed that the Papacy was the only Power with which 
the Swiss ought to ally themselves, and received a papal 
pension for many years. 

§ 2. ZwiitgWs Youth and Educatum} 

Huldreich (Ulrich) Zwingli, the Reformer of Switzer- 
land, was bom on January 1st, 1484 (fifty-two days after 
Luther), in the hamlet of Wildhaus (or Wildenhaus), 
lying in the upper part of the Toggenburg valley, raised 
so high above sea-level (3600 feet) that fruits refuse to 
ripen. It lies so exactly on the central watershed of 

» Sources : 0. Myconiug, " Vita Huldrici Zwinglii " (in Neander's Fitm 
Quatiur Heformatorum, Berlin, 1841) ; H. Bullinger, ReformtUumageschickU 
(Frauenfeld, 1838-40) ; Johann Salat, Chronik der Khvjeizerise* en Ref<»r7na' 
tion von deren Anfdngen bis 16S4 (vol. i. of Arehiv fur tehweizerische 
SrformationageBchichUt Solothum, 1868) ; Kessler, SahlxUa (ed. by Egli, 
St. Gall, 1902); Strickler, AcUnsammlung zur sehtoeieerisehen lUfornuUiojis- 
genehi'JUe in den Jahren 1621-3S (Zarich, 1877-84) ; Egli, ActenaamnUung 
zur Oeschichte der ZUrieher JUformaium, 1519SS (Zurich, 1879) ; W. Gid, 
AetenstUcke zur Schweiawgeechiehte der Jahre 1621-tt (vol. xv. of Arehiv 
fur die schweizer, Oeschiehte), pp. 285-318 ; Hermim'ard, CorrespoTidanee des 
RiformaUurs dans les pays de langue frangaise (Geneva, 166-93) ; Stabelin 
Brief e aus der Reformaiionszeit (Basel, 1887). 

Later Books: Stahelin, Huldreich Zwingli: sein Leben und Wirben 
naeh den Quellen dargestellt, 2 vols. (Basel, 1895-97); Morikofer, Ulrich 
Zwingli nach den urkundlichen Quellen^ 2 vols. (Leipzig, 1867-69) ; S. M. 
Jackson, Huldreich Zwingli, 1484-1551 (New York, 1901); Cambridge 
Modem History , ii. x. (Cambridge, 1903) ; Rucbat, Histoire de la BtformO' 
tion de la Suisse, ed. by Vulliemin, 7 vols. (Paris, 1835-88). 


Europe, that the rain which falls on the one side of the ridge 
of the red-tiled church roof goes into a streamlet which 
feeds the Danube, and that which falls on the other finds 
its way to the Khine. He came third in a large family of 
eight sons and two daughters. His father, also called 
Huldreich, was the headman of the conmiune, and his 
uncle, Bartholomew Zwingli, was the parish priest. His 
education was superintended by Bartholomew, who became 
Dean of Wesen in 1487, and took the small Huldreich 
with him to his new sphere of work. The boy was sent 
to the school in Wesen, where lie made rapid progress. 
Bartholomew Zwingli was somewliat of a scholar himself. 
When he discovered that his nephew was a precocious boy, 
he determined to give him as good an education as was 
possible, and sent him to Basel (Klein-Basel, on the east 
bank of the Khine) to a famous school taught, by the gentle 
scholar, Gr^ory Buenzli (1494—98). 

In four years the lad had outgrown the teacher's powers 
of instruction, and young Zwingli was sent to Bern to a 
school taught by the Humanist Heinrich Wolflin (Lupulus), 
who was half a follower of Erasmus and half a Beformer. 
He was passionately fond of music, and lodged in one 
of the Dominican convents in the town which was famed 
for the care bestowed on musical education. Zwingli was 
so carried away by his zeal for the study, that he had some 
thoughts of becoming a monk merely to gratify his 
musical tastes. His family, who had no desire to see him 
enter a monastery, removed him from Bern and sent him 
to the University of Vienna, where he spent two years 
(1500-1502). There he had for friends and fellow- 
students, Joachim von Watt ^ (Vadianus), Heinrich Loriti * 

* Joachim de Watt, a native of St. GaUen (b. 1484, December 80) was 
a distingaished scholar. He became successively physician, member of 
ooancil, and borgomaster in his native town, and did mach to establish 
the Baformation ; he was a well-known author, and wrote several theological 

* Heinrich Loriti was the most distinguished of all the Swiss Humanists. 
He studied successively at Bern, Vienna, and Koln, and attained the barren 
honour of being made Court-poet to the Emperor Maximilian. At Basel, 


of Glarus (Glareanus), Johann Heigerlin^ of leutkirch 
(Faber), and Johann Meyer of Eck, the most notable of 
all Luther's opponents. In 1502 he returned to Switzer- 
land and matriculated in the University of BaseL He 
became 6.A. in 1504 and M.A. in 1506, and in the same 
year became parish priest of Glarus. 

The childhood and youth of Zwingli form a striking 
contrast to Luther's early years. He enjoyed the rude 
plenty of a well-to-do Swiss farmhouse, and led a joyous 
young Ufa He has told us how the family gathered in 
the stvbe in the long winter evenings, and how his grand- 
mother kept the children entranced with her tales from 
the Bible and her wonderful stories of the sainta The 
family were all musical, and they sang patriotic folk-songs, 
recording in rude verse the glories of Morgarten, Sempach, 
and the victories over the tyrant of Burgundy. " When I 
was a child," says Zwingli, "if anyone said a word 
against our Fatherland, it put my back up at onca" He 
was trained to be a patriot. ''From boyhood I have 
shown so great, eager, and sincere a love for our honour- 
able Confederacy that I trained myself diligently in every 
act and discipline to this end." His uncle Bartholomew was 
an admirer of the New Learning, and the boy was nurtured 
in everything that went to make a Humanist, with all its 
virtues and failings. He was educated, one might almost 
say, in the art of enjojring the present without discriminat- 
ing much between what W£ls good and evil in surrounding 
society. He was trained to take life as it came. No 

where he first settled, he kept a boarding school for bojs who wished to 
study the classics, and in 1617 he transferred himself and about twenty 
young Switzers, his pupils, to Paris. He modelled his school, he was 
pleased to think, on the lines of the Roman Republic, was Consul himself, 
had a Senate, a prseitor, and meetings of Oomitia. He remained a fast 
friend of ZwinglL 

^ Johann Heigerlin (Faber) remained a steadfast Romanist. He beoame 
vicar-general to the Bishop of Constance, and as such was an antagonist of 
Zwingli. He ended his days as Bishop of Vienna. He wrote much 
against Luther, and was known as the ** hammer of the Lutherans.'* Along 
with Eck and Cochlteus, he was the distinguished champion of the Romanist 
cause in Qermany. 



great sense of sin troubled his youthful years. He never 
shuddered at the wrathful face of Jesus, the Judge, 
gazing at him from blazoned church window. If he was 
once tempted for a moment to become a monk, it was in 
order to enjoy musical society, not to quench the sin that 
was burning him ¥dthin, and to win the pardon of an 
angiy (rod. He took his ecclesiastical calling in a careless, 
professional way. He belonged to a family connected 
on both sides with the clergy, and he followed the family 
arrangement Until far on in life the question of per- 
sonal piety did not seem to trouble him much, and he 
never belonged, like Luther and Calvin, to the type of 
men who are the leaders in a revival of personal religion. 
He became a Beformer because he was a Humanist, with 
a liking for Augustinian theology; and his was such a 
frank, honest nature that he could not see cheats and 
shams done in the name of religion without denouncing them. 
To the end of his days he was led more by his intellect 
than by the promptings of the heart, and in his earlier years 
be was able to combine a deep sense of responsibility about 
most things with a careless laxity of moral Ufa 

§ 3. At Olarus and Einsiedelfi, 

At Olarus he was able to follow his Humanist studies, 
guided by the influences which had surrounded him during 
his last year at Basel. Among these his friendship with 
Thomas Wyttenbach was the most lasting. Wyttenbach 
taught him, he tells us, to see the evils and abuses of 
indulgences, the supreme authority of the Bible, that 
the death of Christ was the sole price of the remission of 
sins, and that faith is the key which unlocks to the soul 
the treasury of remission. All these thoughts he had 
grasped intellectually, and made much of them in his 
sermon& He prized preaching highly, and resolved to 
cultivate the gift by training himself on the models of 
antiquity. He studied the Scriptures, joyfully welcomed 
the new Greek Testament of Erasmus, published by Froben 


of Basel in 1616, when he was at Einsiedeln, and copied 
out from it the whole of the Pauline Epistles. On the 
wide margins of his MS. he wrote annotations from 
Erasmus, Origen, Ghrysostom, Ambrose, and Jeroma It 
was his constant companion. 

At Glarus he was personally introduced to the system 
of mercenary war and of pensions in which Switzerland 
had engaged. He went to Italy twice as regimental 
chaplain with the Glarus contingent, and was present 
at the fight at Novara (1513), and on the fatal day at 
Marignano (1515). 

His experiences in these campaigns convinced him of 
the harm in this system of hiring out the Swiss to fight 
in others' quarrels ; and when he became convinced of the 
evils attending it, he denounced the practice. His out- 
spoken language displeased many of his most influential 
parishioners, especially those who were partisans of the 
French, and Zwingli resolved to seek some other sphere 
of work. 

The post of people's priest at Einsiedeln, the famous 
monastery and pilgrimage resort, was offered to him and 
accepted (April 14th, 1516). He retained his official con- 
nection with Glarus, and employed a curate to do his 
parish work. His fame as a preacher grew. His friends 
desired to see him in a larger sphere, and through their 
exertions he was appointed to be people's priest in the 
Minster at Zurich. An objection had been made to his 
selection on the ground that he had disgracefully 
wronged the daughter of a citizen of Einsiedeln ; and his 
letter of vindication, while it exonerates him from the 
particular charge brought against him, shows that he was 
by no means clear of the laxity in private morals which 
characterised the Swiss clergy of the tima The stipend 
attached to his office in the Great Minster was very small, 
and on this ground Zwingli felt himseU justified, un- 
warrantably, in retaining his papal pension.^ 

^ For details about Zwingli's papal pension, of. S. M. Jackson, HtUdreiek 
Zvnngli, p. 114. 


§ 4. Zwingli in Zurich. 

Zurich, when Zwingli went to it, was an imperial city. 
It had grown up around the Great Minster and the 
Minster of Our Lady (the Little Minster), and had de- 
veloped into a trading and manufactuiing centre. Its 
citizens, probably owing to the ecclesiastical origin of the 
town, had long engaged in quarrels with the clergy, and 
had generally been successful. They took advantage of the 
rivalries between the heads of the two Minsters and the 
Emperor's bailiff to assert their independence, and had 
passed laws subordinating the ecclesiastical authorities to 
the secular rule. The taxes were levied on ecclesiastical as 
well as on secular property ; all the convents were under 
civic control, and liable to State inspection. The popes, 
anxious to keep on good terms with the Swiss who furnished 
soldiers for their wars, had expressly permitted in Zurich 
what they would not have allowed elsewhera 

The town was ruled by a Council or Senate composed 
of the Masters of the thirteen *" gilds " (twelve trades' gilds 
and one gild representing the patriciate). The Burgomaster, 
with large powers, presided. A great Council of 212 
members was called together on special occasions 

The city of Zurich, with its thoroughly democratic 
constitution, was a very fitting sphere for a man like 
Zwingli. He had made a name for himself by this time. 
He had become a powerful preacher, able to stir and move 
the people by his eloquence ; he was in intimate relations 
with the more distinguished German Humanists, introduced 
to them by his friend Heinrich Loriti of Glarus (known 
as Glareanus). He had already become the centre of an 
admiring circle of young men of liberal views. His place 
as people's preacher gave to a man of his popular gifts a 
commanding position in the most democratic town in 
Switzerland, where civic and European politics were eagerly 
discussed. He went there in December 1519. 

His work as a Beformer began almost at once. 
Bemardin Samson or Sanson, a seller of indulgences for 


Switzerland, came to Zurich to push his trade. Zwingli 
had abeady encountered him at Einsiedehi, and, prompted 
by the Bishop of Constance and his vicar-general, John 
Faber, both of whom disliked the indulgences, had preached 
against him. He now persuaded the Council of Zurich to 
forbid Samson's stay in the town. 

The papal treatment of the Swiss Beformer was very 
different from what had been meted out to Luther. 
Samson received orders from Bome to give no trouble to 
the Zurichers, and to leave the city rather than quarrel 
with them. The difference, no doubt, arose from the 
desire of the Curia to do nothing to hinder the supply of 
Swiss soldiers for the papal wars ; but it was also justified 
by the contrast in the treatment of the subject by the 
two Reformers. Luther struck at a great moral abuse, 
and his strokes cut deeply into the whole round of 
mediaeval religious life, with its doctrine of a special priest- 
hood ; he made men see the profanity of any claim made 
by men to pardon sin, or to interfere between their fellow- 
men and God. Zwingli took the whole matter more 
lightly. His position was that of Erasmus and the 
Humanists. He could laugh at and ridicule the whole 
proceeding, and thought most of the way in which men 
allowed themselves to be gulled and duped by clever 
knaves. He never touched the deep practical religious 
question which Luther raised, and which made his chal- 
lenge to the Papacy reverberate over Western Europe. 

From the outset Zwingli became a prominent figure 
in Zurich. He announced to the astonished Chapter of the 
Great Minster, to whom he owed his appointment, that he 
meant to give a series of continuous expositions of the 
Gospel of St Matthew ; that he would not follow the 
scholastic interpretation of passages in the Gospel, but 
would endeavour to make Scripture its own interpreter. 
The populace crowded to hear sermons of this new kind. 
In order to reach the country people, Zwingli preached in 
the market-place on the Fridays, and his fame spread 
throughout the villages. The Franciscans, Dominicans^ 


and Auguptinian Eremites tried to arouse opposition, but 
unsucceesrally. In his sermons he denounced sins 
suggested in the passages expounded, and found occasion 
to deny the doctrines of Purgatory and the Intercession of 

His strongest attack on the existing ecclesiastical system 
was made in a sermon on tithes, which, to the distress of 
the Provost of the Minster, he declared to be merely 
voluntary offerings. (He had been reading Hus' book 
On the Church,) He must have carried most of the 
Chapter with him in his schemes for improvement, for in 
June 1520 the Breviary used in the Minster was revised 
by Zwingli and stripped of some blemishes. In the follow- 
ing year (March 1521), some of the Zurichers who were 
known to be among Zwingli's warmest admirers, the 
printer Froschauer among them, asserted their convictions 
by eating flesh meat publicly in Lent. The affair made a 
great sensation, and the Beformers were brought before the 
Council of the city. They justified themselves by declaring 
that they had only followed the teaching of Zwingli, who 
had shown them that nothing was binding on the con- 
sciences of Christians which was not commanded in the 
Scripturea Zwingli at once undertook their defence, and 
published his sermon. Selection or Liberty concerning Foods ; 
an offence and scandal ; whether there is any Authority for 
forbidding Meat at certain times (April 16th, 1522). He 
declared that in such matters the responsibility rests with 
the individual, who may use his freedom provided he avoids 
a public scandal 

The matter was felt to be serious, and the Council, after 
full debate, passed an ordinance which was meant to be a 
compromise. It was to the effect that although the New 
Testament makes no rule on the subject, fasting in Lent is 
a very ancient custom, and must not be set aside until dealt 
with by authority, and that the priests of the three parishes 
of Zurich were to dissuade the people from aU violation of 
the ordinance. 

The Bishop of Constance thereupon interfered, and sent 


a Commission, consisting of his sufi&agan and two others, to 
investigate and report. They met the Small Council, and 
in a long address insisted that the Church had authority 
in such matters, and that the usages it commanded must be 
obeyed. Zwingli appeared before the Great Council, and, in 
spite of the efforts of the Commission to keep him silent, 
argued in defence of liberty of conscience. In the end the 
Council resolved to abide by its compromise, but asked the 
Bishop of Constance to hold a Synod of his clergy and 
come to a resolution upon the matter which would be in 
accordance with the law of Christ. This resolution of the 
Council really set aside the episcopal authority, and was a 
revolt against the Soman Church. 

Political affairs favoured the rebellion. At the Swiss 
Diet held at Luzern (May 1621), the cantons, in spite of 
the vehement remonstrances of Zurich, made a treaty with 
France, and allowed the French king to recruit a force of 
16,000 Swiss mercenaries. Zurich, true to its protest, 
refused to allow recruiting within its lands. Its citizens 
chafed at the loss of money and the separation from the 
other cantons, and Zwingli became very unpopular. He 
had now made up his mind that the whole system of 
pensions and mercenary service was wrong, and had 
resigned his own papal pension. Just then the Pope 
asked Zurich, which supplied him with half of his body> 
guard, for a force of soldiers to be used in defence of his 
States, promising that they would not be used to fight the 
French, among whose troops were many Swiss mercenaries 
from other cantons. The Council refused. KeverthelesSy 
six thousand Zurichers set out to join the papal army. 
The Council recalled them, and after some adventures, in 
one of which they narrowly escaped fighting with the Swiss 
mercenaries in the service of France, they returned home. 
This expedition, which brought neither money nor honour 
to the Zurichers, turned the tide of popular feeling, and the 
Council forbade all foreign service. When the long con- 
nection between Zurich and the Papacy is considered, this 
decree was virtually a breach between the city and the 


Popa It made the path of the Beformation much easier 
(Jan. 1522), and Zwingli's open break with the Papacy 
was only a matter of time. 

It came with the publication of the Archeteles (August 
1522), a book hastily written, like all Zwingli's works, 
which contained a defence of all that he had done, 
and a programme, ecclesiastical and political, for the future. 
The book increased the zeal of Zwingli's opponents. His 
sermons were often interrupted by monks and others 
instigated by them. The burgomaster was compelled to 
interfere in order to maintain the peace of the town. He 
iflsued an order on his own authority, without any appeal 
to the Bishop of Constance, that the pure Word of God 
was to be preached. At an assembly of the country 
clergy of the canton, the same decision was reached ; and 
town and clergy were ready to move along the path of 
reformation. Shortly before this (July 2nd), Zwingli 
and ten other priests petitioned the bishop to permit his 
clergy to contract legal marriages. The document had no 
practical effect, save to show the gradual advance of ideas 
It disclosed the condition of things that sacerdotal celibacy 
had produced in Switzerland. 

§ 6. The Public DispiUatians. 

In these circumstances, the Great Council, now definitely 
on Zwingli's side, resolved to hold a Public Disputation 
to settle the controversies in religion ; and Zwingli drafted 
sixty-seven theses to be discussed. These articles contain 
a summary of his doctrinal teaching. They insist that the 
Word of God, the only rule of faith, is to be received upon 
its own authority and not on that of the Church. They 
are very full of Christ, the only Saviour, the true Son of 
God, who has redeemed us from eternal death and re- 
conciled us to God. They attack the Primacy of the 
Pope, the Mass, the Invocation of the Saints, the thought 
that men can acquire merit by their good works. Fasts, 
Pilgrimages, and Purgatory. Of sacerdotal celibacy he 



says, "I know of no greater nor graver scandal than thai 
which forbids lawful marriage to priests, and yet permits 
them on paym^erU of money to have concubines and harlots. 
Fie for shams / " ^ The theses consist of single short 

The Disputation, the first of the four which marked 
the stages of the legal Reformation in Zurich, was held in 
the Town Hall of the city on January 29th, 1523. More 
than six hundred representative men gathered to hear it. 
All the clergy of the canton were present ; Faber watched 
the proceedings on behalf of the Bishop of Constance; 
many distinguished divines from other parts of Switzerland 
were present Faber seems to have contented himself 
with asking that the Disputation should be delayed until 
a General Council should meet, and Zwingli replied that 
competent scholars who were good Christians were as able 
as a Council to decide what was the meaning of the Holy 
Scriptures. The result of the Disputation was that the 
burgomaster declared that Zwingli had justified his teach- 
ing, and that he was no heretia The canton of Zurich 
practically adopted Zwingli's views, and the Beformer was 
encouraged to proceed further. 

His course of conduct was eminently prudent. He 
invariably took pains to educate the people up to further 
changes by explaining them carefully in sermons, and by 
publishing and circulating these discourses. He considered 
that it was his duty to teach, but that it belonged to the 
civic authorities to make the changes; and he himself 
made none until they were authorised. He had very 
strong views against the use of images in churches, and 
had preached vigorously against their presence. Some 
of his more ardent hearers began to deface the statues 
and pictures. The Great Council accordingly took the 
whole question into consideration, and decided that a 

^Ct Sohaff, Creeds nf ike Eoangelieal ProUstaiU ChureKti (London, 
1877), p. 197 ; Niemeyer, Colleetio Car^emanum in eeeleHie r^ormatu^ 
publicatarum (Leipzig, 1840), p. 8 ; Miiller, Di» Bekenninitachriftm da 
rtfor^ierUn Kircke : Zwinglis Thsse$ von 15iS, Art. 49, p. 5. 


second Public Disputation should be held, at which the 
matter might be publicly discussed. This discussion 
(October 1523) lasted for two days. More than eight 
hundred persons were present, of whom three hundred and 
fifty were clergy. On the first day, Zwingli set forth his 
views on the presence of images in churches, and wished 
their use forbidden. The Council decided that the statues 
and pictures should be removed from the churches, but 
without disturbance ; the rioters were to be pardoned, but 
their leader was to be banished from the city for two years. 
The second day's subject of conference was the Mass. 
Zwingli pled that the Mass was • not a sacrifice, but a 
memorial of the death of our Lord, and urged that the 
abuses surrounding the simple Christian rite should be 
swept away. The presence of Anabaptists at this conference, 
and their expressions in debate, warned the magistrates 
that they must proceed cautiously, and they contented 
themselves with appointing a commission of eight — two 
from the Council and six clergymen — to inquire and 
report. Meanwhile the clergy were to be informed how 
to act, and the letter of instruction was to be written by 
Zwingli The authorities also deputed preachers to go to 
the outlying parts of the canton and explain the whole 
matter carefully to the people. 

The letter which Zwingli addressed to the clergy of 
Zurich canton is a brief statement of Beformation principlea 
It is sometimes called the Inatruction. Zwingli entitles it, 
A brief Christian In^oduction which the Honourable Council 
of the city of Zurich has sent to the pastors and preachers 
living in its cities, lands, and wherever its avihorUy extends, 
so that they rriay heruxforth in unison announce and preach 
the gospel} It describes sin, the law, God's way of 
salvation, and then goes on to speak of images. Zwingli's 
argument is that the presence of statues and pictures in 
churches has led to idolatry, and that they ought to be 
removed. The concluding section discusses the Mass. 

^ Mttller, Die BdomfUnisKhrifUn der r^ormierten Kirche (Leipzig, 1008), 
ppu xriii and 7. The InatrueUon is a lengthy dooomant. 


Here the author states very briefly what he elaborated 
afterwards, that the mam thought in the Eucharist is not 
the repetition of the sacrifice of Christ, but its faithful 
remembrance, and that the Bomish doctrine and ceremony 
of the Mass has been so corrupted to superstitious uses 
that it ought to be thoroughly reformed. 

This letter had a marked effect. The village priests 
everywhere refused to say Mass according to the old ritual. 
But there was a section of the people, including members 
of the chapter of the Minster, who shrunk from changes 
in this central part of Christian worship. In deference 
to their feelings, the Council resolved that the Holy Supper 
should be meanwhile dispensed according to both the 
Beformed and the mediaeval rite ; in the one celebration the 
cup was given to the laity, and in the other it was with- 
held. No change was made in the liturgy. Then came 
a third conference, and a fourth ; and at last the Mass 
was abolished. On April 13th, 1525, the first Evangelical 
communion service took place in the Great Minster, and 
the mediaeval worship was at an end. Other changes had 
been made. The monasteries had been secularised, and 
the monks who did not wish to leave their calling were 
all gathered together in the Franciscan convent. An 
amicable arrangement was come to about other ecclesiastical 
foundations, and the money thus 'secured was mainly 
devoted to education. 

From 1522, Zwingli had been living in "clerical" 
marriage with Anna Beinhard, the widow of a wealthy 
Zurich burgher. She was called his wife by his friends, 
although no legal marriage ceremony had been performed. 
It is perhaps difficult for us to judge the man and the 
times. The so-called '' clerical " marriages were universal 
in Switzerland. Man and woman took each other for 
husband and wife, and were faithful There was no 
public ceremony. All questions of marriage, divorce, 
succession, and so forth, were then adjudicated in the 
ecclesiastical and not in the civil courts ; and as the Canon 
Law had insisted that no clergyman could marry, all 


such '^ clerical " marriages were simple concubinage in the 
eye of ibe law, and the children were illegitimate. The 
offence against the vow of chastity was condoned by a fine 
paid to the bishop. As early as 1523, William Boubli, a 
Zurich priest, went through a public form of marriage, 
and his example was followed by others ; but it may be 
questioned whether these marriages were recognised to be 
I^al until Zurich passed its own laws about matrimonial 
cases in 1525. 

Luther in his pure-hearted and solemnly sympathetic 
way had referred to these clerical marriages in his Address 
to the Christian Nobility of the Oemum Nation (1520). 

^ We see,** he says, " how the priesthood is &llen, and how 
many a poor priest is encumbered with a woman and children, 
and burdened in his conscience, and no man does anything 
to help him, though he might very well be helped. ... I 
wiU not conceal my honest counsel, nor withhold comfort 
from that unhappy crowd, who now live in trouble with wife 
and children, and remain in shame, with a heavy conscience, 
hearing their wife called a priest's harlot and the children 
bastaroa ... I say that these two (who are minded in 
their hearts to live together always in conjugal fidelity) are 
surely married before God." 

He had never succumbed to the temptations of the 
flesh, and had kept his body and soul pure ; and for that 
very reason he could sympathise with and help by his 
sympathy those who had fallen. Zwingli, on the other 
hand, had deliberately contracted this illicit alliance after 
he had conmiitted himself to the work of a Beformer. The 
action remains a permanent blot on his character, and places 
him on a different level from Luther and from Calvin. It 
has been already noted that Zwingli had always an intel- 
lectual rather than a spiritual appreciation of the need of 
reformation, — ^that he was much more of a Humanist than 
either Luther or Calvin, — but what is remarkable is that 
we have distinct evidence that the need of personal piety 
had impressed itself on him during these years, and that he 
passed through a religious crisis, slight compared with that 


of Luther, but real so far as it went He fell ill of the 
plague (Sept-Nov. 1519), and the vision of death and 
recovery drew from him some hymns of resignation and 
thanksgiving.^ The death of his brother Andrew (Nov. 
1520) seems to have been the real turning-point in his 
inward spiritual experience, and his letters and writings 
are evidence of its reality and permanence. Perhaps the 
judgment which a contemporary and friend, Martin Bucer, 
passed ought to content us : 

" When I read your letter to Capito, that you had made 
public announcement of your marriage, I was almost beside 
myself in my satisfaction. For it was the one thing I desked 
for you. ... I never believed you were unmarried after 
the time when you indicated to the Bishop of Constance in 
that tract that you desired this gift. But as I considered 
the fact that you were thought to be a fornicator by some, 
and by others held to have little faith in Christ, I could not 
understand why you concealed it so long, and that the fact 
was not declared openly, and with candour and diligence. 
I could not doubt that you were led into this course by 
considerations which could not be put aside by a conscien- 
tious man. However that may be, I triumph in the fact 
that now you have come up in all things to the apostolic 

The Reformation was spreading beyond Zurich. Evan- 
gelical preachers had arisen in many of the other cantons, 
and were gaining adherents. 

§ 6. The BefarmcUion oviddt Zurich. 

Basel, the seat of a famous university and a centre of 
German Humanism, contained many scholars who had come 
under the influence of Thomas Wyttenbach, Zwingli's 
teacher. Wolfgang Fabricius Capito, a disciple of Erasmus, 
a learned student of the Scriptures, had begun as early as 

^ lateral tranalatioiiB of these hymns are given in Professor Macauley 
Jackson's HiUdrekh Ztoingli, ths Reformer qf Oerman StoitgerUmd (New 
York and London, 1903), pp. 188, 184. 

' Stahelin, Brie/$ enu der lU/ormaUortntUf pp. 16-19* 


1512 to show how the ceremonies and many of the usages 
of the Church had no authority from the Bible. He 
worked in Basel from 1612 to 1520. Johannes 
Oecolampadius (Hussgen or Heusgen), who had been one 
of Luther's supporters in 1621, came to Basel in 1622 
as Lecturer on the Holy Scriptures in the University. 
His lectures and his sermons to the townspeople caused 
such a movement that the bishop forbade their delivery. 
The citizens asked for a Public Disputation. Two held 
in the month of December 1524 — the one conducted by a 
priest of the name of Stor against clerical celibacy, and the 
other led by William Farel^ — raised the courage of th^ 

> WUliain Farel was born in 1489 at/|Tillage mJx Ga]^m the motintain- 
ous aooth-east comer of Danphiu^, on the border of Provence. He belonged 
to a noble famUy, and was deyont from his earliest years. He describes 
a pilgrimage which he made as a child in his book Du way uaag$ de la 
croix de JSmU'Ckrid (pp. 228/.). All through his adyentorons life he pre- 
served his rare nprightness of character, his fervent devotion, and his indig- 
nation at wrong-doing of all kinds. He persuaded his parents to allow him 
to go to Paris for education, and reached the capital about 1609. He probably 
spent twelve years there, partly as student and partly as professor in the 
eollege Le Moine. There he became the friend and devoted disciple of 
Jaoqnes Lefivre d'Staples, and this friendship carried him safely through 
several religious crises in his life. He followed Lef&vre to Meaux, and was 
one of the celebrated " group '* there. When persecution and the timidity 
or scruples of the bishop caused the dispersion of these preachers, Farel went 
back to Dauphin^ and attempted to preach the Gospel in Gap. He was not 
allowed jNiriM ^'i{ n'edaU ne moine neprealre, and was banished from the 
diitriet by bishop and people. He next tried to preach in Guyenne, where 
he was equaUy unsuccessfiil. Thinking that there was no place in France 
open to him, he took himself to Basel. There he asked the University to 
allow him to hold a public disputation on certain articles which he sent tc 
them. The authorities refused. He then addressed himself to the Councix 
of the dty, who permitted the discussion. The thirteen articles or Theses 
defended by Farel are given in Hermii^ard, Correspondance dee JUformateure 
done lee pays de kmgue /rjn^ise (i. 194, 196). He gathered a little church 
of French refbgees atBasel (the eccUeiola of his correspondence), but was too 
much the ardent and impetuous pioneer to remain quietly among them. By 
the end of July 1624 he was preaching at Montb^liard, some miles to the 
south of Belfort, and the riots which ensued caused Oecolampadius to beseech 
him to temper his courage with discretion (Hermiigard, Correspimdanee, etc., 
i. 255). He went thence to Strassburg (April 1626), to Bern, attempted 
to preach in Keuch&tel, and finally (middle of November 1626) opened a 
school at AiglSy an outlying dependency of Bern, hoping to get opportunity 




Evangelical party. In February 1626 the Council of the 
town installed Oecolampadius as the preacher in St. 
Martin's Church, and authorised him to make such changes 
as the Word of God demanded. This was the beginning. 
Oecolampadius became a firm friend of Zwingli's, and they 
worked together. 

In Bern also the Beformation made progress. Berthold 
Haller ^ and Sebastian Meyer ' preached the Gospel with 
courage for several years, and were upheld by the painter 
Nicolaus Manuel, who had great influence with the citizens. 
The Council decided to permit freedom in preaching, if in 
accordance with the Word of God; but they refused to 
permit innovations in worship or ceremonies ; and they 
forbade the introduction of heretical books into the town. 
The numbers of the Evangelical party increased rapidly, 
and in the beginning of 1527 they had a majority in 
both the great and the small Councils. It was then 
decided to have a Public Disputation. 

The occasion was one of the most momentous in the 
history of the Beformation in Switzerland. Hitherto 
Zurich had stood alone; if Bern joined, the two most 

to carry on his evangelistic work. He waa soon discovered, and attempts 
were made to prevent his preaching ; but the authorities of Bern insisted 
that he should be unmolested. In the beginning of 1527 he was actively 
angaged at the great Disputation in Bern. That same year he was made 
pastor of Aigle and put in possession of the parsonage and the stipend ; but 
such work was too tame for him. He made long preaching tours ; we find 
him at Lausanne, Morat, Orbe, and other places, always protected by the 
authorities of Bern. He began his work in Geneva in 1582. 

^ Berthold HaUer was bom at Aldingen (1492) ; studied at Rothweil and 
Pforzheim, where he made the acquaintance of Melanchthon. He became 
a Bachelor of Theology of the Uuiversity of Koln ; taught for some time at 
Rothweil, and then at Bern (1513-1518). He was elected people's priest in 
the great church there in 1521. His sympathetic character and his great 
eloquence made him a power in the city ; but his discouragements were so 
many and so great that he was often on the point of leaving. Zwingli 
encouraged him to remain and persevere. 

* Sebastian Meyer was a priest from Elsass who had been preaching in 
Bern since 1518 against the abuses of the Roman Church. The notorious 
induct of the pominicans in Bern (1507-9), and the action of Samson, the 
Indulgence-seller, in 1518, had made the Bernese ready to listen to attacks 
igainst Rome. 


powerful cantons in Switzerland would be able to hold 
their own. There was need for union. The Forest cantons 
had been uttering threats, and Zwingli's life was not 
secure. Bern was fully alive to the importance of the 
proposed discussion, and was resolved to make it as impos- 
ing as possible, and that the disputants on both sides 
should receive fair play and feel themselves in perfect 
freedom and safety. They sent special invitations to the 
four bishops whose dioceses entered their territories — the 
Bishops of Constance, Basel, Yalais, and Lausanne; and 
they did their best to assemble a sufficient number of 
learned Bomanist theologian&^ They promised not only 
safe-conducts, but the escort of a herald to and from the 
canton.* It soon became evident, however, that the 
Bomanist partisans had no great desire to come to the 
DifgputaJtion. None of the bishops invited appears to 
have even thought of being present save the Bishop of 
Lausanne, and he found reasons for declining.' The Dispu- 
tation was viewed with anxiety by the Bomanist partisans, 
and in a letter sent from Speyer (December 28th) the 
Emperor Charles y. strongly remonstrated with the 
magistrates of Bem.^ The Bernese were not to be 
intimidated. They issued their invitations, and made 
every arrangement to give ^clat to the great Disputation.^ 
Berthold Haller, with the help of Zwingli, had drafted 

^ Henninjard, Corretpondanee des IU/ormatewr$ dans Us pays de la/ngue 
franfaiis (2iid ed.), ii 55. 

* Ibid. ii. 94, 96. > Ibid. ii. 61, 74, 89, 94, 96. 

* Baehat, HiOoin de la Hdfannaiion de laSuisss, i. 868. 

* The invitation began : '*Nous TAdvoyer, le petit et le grand ConBefl de 
la cit6 de Berne, k tons et k chaecun, spirituelz et steuliers, pr^latz, abbee, 
pr^Yostz, doyens, chanoynes, cur^, sacrestains, vicaires preschean de la 
Parolle de Dieu, et k tons prebstres, s^aliera on i^guliers, et k tons Noz 
adToyen, cbastellains, pi^voetz, lieutenane, et tons autres officien et k toua 
Noz chers, fteulx et aym^ subjectz, et k tons manans et habitane de Nostre 
doDuune et e^gnorie aoz qnelz les presentee litres Tiendront, — Saint, grftee 
et b^niv<danoe 1 

''S9aYoirfaisons, oombien que Nous ayons fait beancoup d'ordonnance et 
mandemens pabliqnes, pour la dissension de nostre commune foy Ghrestienne, 
k oe menz et espoirans, que cela profiteroit k la paiz et concorde Ghrestienne, 
oomme choee trte utile," etc. ; Hermii^jard, ii. 54. 


ten Theses, which vreie to be defended by himself and his 
colleague, Francis Kolb; Zwingli had translated them 
mto Latin and Farel into French for the benefit of 
strangers; and they were sent out with the invitations. 
They were — (1) The Holy Catholic Church, of which 
Christ is the only Head, is bom of the Woi*d of God, 
abides therein, and does not hear the voice of a stranger.^ 
(2) The Church of Christ makes no law nor statute apart 
from the Word of God, and consequently those human 
ordinances which are called the commandments of the 
Church do not bind our consciences unless they are 
founded on the Word of God and agreeable thereto. (3) 
Christ is our wisdom, righteousness, redemption, and price 
for the sins of the whole world; and all who think 
they can win salvation in any other way, or have other 
satisfaction for their sins, renounce Christ. (4) It is 
impossible to prove from Scripture that the Body and 
Blood of Christ are corporeally present in the bread of 
the Holy Supper. (6) The Mass, in which Christ is 
offered to God the Father for the sins of the living and 
the dead, is contrary to the Holy Scripture, is a gross 
affront to the Passion and Death of Christ, and is there- 
fore an abomination before God. (6) Since Christ alone 
died for us, and since He is the only mediator and inter- 
cessor between God and believers, He only ought to be 
invoked ; and all other mediators and advocates ought to 
be rejected, since they have no warrant in the Holy 
Scripture of the Bible. (7) There is no trace of Purgatory 
after death in the Bible ; and therefore all services for the 
dead, such as vigils, Masses, and the like, are vain things. 
(8) To make pictures and adore them is contrary to the 
Old and New Testament, and they ought to be destroyed 
where there is the chance that they may be adored. (9) 
Marriage is not forbidden to any estate by the Holy 
Scripture, but wantonness and fornication are forbidden to 
everyone in whatever estate he may be. (10) The 

^ CC Scots Confession of 1660, Art xiz. : « The trew Kirk quhilk 
alwaies heftres and obeyia the yoioe of her awin Spouse and Pastor." 


fornicator is truly excommunicated by the Holy Scripture, 
and therefore wantonness and fornication are much more 
scandalous among the clergy than in the other estate. 

These Theses represent in succinct fashion the preaching 
in the Beformed Church in Switzerland, and the fourth 
states in its earliest form what grew to be the Zwinglian 
doctrine of the Holy Supper.^ 

The Council of Bern had sent invitations to be present 
to the leading preachers in the Evangelical cities of Germany 
and Switzerland. Bucer and Capito came from Strassburg, 
Jacob Ausburger from Mlihlhausen, Ambrose Blaarer 
from Constance, Sebastian Wagner,' sumamed Hof meister 
(CEconomus), from Schaffhausen, Oecolampadius from 
Basel, and many others.' Zwingli's curival was eagerly 
expected. The Zurichers were resolved not to trust their 
leader away from the city without a strong guard, and 
sent him to Bern with an escort of three hundred men-at- 
arma A great crowd of citizens and strangers filled the 
arcades which line both sides of the main street, and 
every window in the many-storied houses had its sight- 
seers to watch the Zurichers tramping up from gate to 
cathedral with their pastor safe in . the centre of the 

Bomanist theologians did not muster in anything like 
the same strength. The men of the four Forest cantons 
stood sullenly aloof; the authorities in French-speaking 
Switzerland had no liking for the Disputation, and the 
strongly Bomanist canton of Freiburg did its best to 
pi-event the theologians of Neuch&tel, Morat, and Grandson 
from appearing at Bern; but in spite of the hindrances 

1 The Theses, in the original German, are printed by MUller, BehentU^ 
ndakkriftm der rtformierten Kirehe (Leipzig, 1908), pp. zviii, 80 ; and in 
French bj Hermiigard in Corretpcndaiies des litfarmaUwr$ dans lea pays 
de la$iifvsfranfa4se (2nd ed.)i it 59, 60. 

* Sebastian Wagner was bom at Sohaffhauaen in 1476. He studied at 
Paris nnder Lasoaris, tanght theology in the Franciscan monastery at Znrich, 
then at Gonstanoe. He adopted the Reformation, and, retaming to his native 
town , became its reformer. 

* Hermiigaxd, CorrsspomUmcs dss StformaUurs, etc ii. 95 m 


placed in their way no less than three hundred and fiftj 
ecclesiastics gathered to the Disputation. The conference 
was opened on January 1 5th (le dimenche apris la fiste de 
la drcuncision)} and was continued in German till the 
24th; on the 26th a second 'discussion, lasting two days, 
was begun, for the benefit of strangers, in Latin. " When 
la Dispute de$ Welches (strangers) was opened, a stranger 
doctor (of Paris) came forward along with some priests 
speaking the same language as himself. He attacked the 
Ten Theses, and William Farel, preacher at Aigle, answered 
him." * The more distinguished Bomanist theologians who 
were present seem to have refrained from taking part in 
the discussion. The Bishop of Lausanne defended their 
silence on the grounds that they objected to discuss such 
weighty matters in the vulgar tongue ; that no opportunity 
was given to them to speak in Latin ; and that when the 
Emperor had interdicted the Disputation they were told 
by the authorities of Bern that they might leave the city if 
it so pleased them.' 

The result of the Disputation was that the authcuities 
and citizens of Bern were confirmed in their resolve . to 
adopt the Beformation. The Disputation ended on the 
26th of January (1528), and on the 7th of February 
the Mass was declared to be abolished, and a sermon took 
its place; images were removed from the churches; the 
monasteries were secularised, and the funds were used 
partly for education and partly to make up for the French 
and papal pensions, which were now definitely renounced, 
and declared to be illegal. 

The two sermons which Zwingli preached in the 
cathedral during the Disputation made a powerful impres* 
sion on the • people of Bern. It was after one of /them 
that M. de Watteville, the Advoyer or President of the 
Bepublic, declared himself to be convinced of the truth of 
the Evangelical faith, and with his whole family accepted 
the Beformation. His eldest son, a clergyman whose 

1 Hermii^ard, Corrupondanee tUs JBtformaUurs, eto. ii 56. 
> Ibid, ii. 99 n. > IM. u. 98 «. 


fiimily intereet bad procured for him no less than thirteen 
benefices, and who, it was commonly supposed, would be 
the next Bishop of Lausanne, renounced them all to live 
the life of a simple country gentleman.^ 

The republic of Bern for long regarded the Ten Theses 
as the charter of its religious faith. Not content with 
declaring the Seformation legally established within the' 
city, the authorities of Bern sent despatches or delegates 
to all the cities and lands under their control, inform- 
ing them of what they had done, and inviting them to 
follow their example. They insisted that preachers of 
the Gospel must be at liberty to deliver their message 
without interruption throughout all their territories. 
They promised that they would maintain the liberty of 
both cults until means had been taken to find out which 
the majority of the inhabitants preferred, and that the 
decision would be taken by vote in presence of com- 
missioners sent down from Bern.' When the majority of 

^ KichoUs de WattevUIe, born in 1492, was canon of St Vinoent in 
Bern, protonotary apostolic, prior of Montpreveyres, and provoet of Lausanne. 
He yisited Rome in 1617, and there received the Abbey of Montheron ; and 
the year following he was made a papal chamberlain to Pope Leo x. He 
gaTe up all his benefices on December Ist, and soon afterwards married 
Clara Kay, a nnn who had left the convent of Konigsfcld. He was always 
a great admirer of William Fare], and often interfered to protect the 
impetooQS Reformer from the consequences of his own rashness. His 
yonnger brother, J. J. de WatteviUe, became Advoyer or President of Bern, 
and was a notable figure in the history of the Reformation in Switzerland. 
The famfly of de WatteviUe is still represented among the citizens of Bern. 

'As early as June 15th, 1628, the Council of Bern had issued an 
ordinance for the preachers throughout their territories, which ei^oined 
them to preach publicly and without dissimulation the Holy Gospel and 
the doctrine of God, and to say nothing which they could not establish by 
true and Holy Scripture ; to leave entirely alone all other doctrines and 
disenssions contrary to the Gospel, and in particular the distinctive 
doctrines of Luther. Later (May 21st, 1526), at a conference held between 
members of the Council of Bern, deputies firom the Bernese communes, and 
ddegates from the seven Roman Catholic cantons, it was agreed to permit no 
innovation in matters of religion. This agreement was not maintained long ; 
and the Bernese went back to their ordinance of June 1528. It seems to 
have been practically interpreted to mean that preachers might attack the 
power of the Pope, and the doctrines of Purgatory and the Invocation of 
Saints, bat that they were not to say anything against the current doctrine 


the pariBhioners accepted the Beformation, the new 
doctrinal standard was the Ten Theses, and the Council ot 
Bern sent directions for the method of dispensing the 
Sacraments of Baptism and the Lord's Supper, and for the 
solemnisation of marriages. The whole of the German- 
speaking portion of the canton proper and its dependences 
seem to have accepted the Beformation at once. Bern had, 
besides, some French-speaking districts under its own 
exclusive control, and others over which it niled along with 
Freiburg. The progress of the new doctrines was slower 
in these district, but it may be said that they had all 
embraced the Beformation before the end of 1630. The 
history of the Beformation in French-speaking Switzerland 
belongs, however, to the next chapter, and the efforts of 
Bern to evangelise its subjects in these districts will be 
described there. 

Not content with this, the CouncU of Bern constituted 
itself the patron and protector of persecuted Protestants 
outside their own lands, and the evangelisation of western 
Switzerland owed almost everything to its fostering cara^ 

Thus Bern in the west and Zurich in the east stood 
forth side by side pledged to the Beformation. 

The cantonal authorities of Appenzell had declared, as 
early as 1524, that Gospel preaching was to have free 
course within their territorie& Thomas Wyttenbach had 
been people's priest in Biel from 1507, and had leavened 
the town with his Evangelical preaching. In 1624 he 
courageously married. The ecclesiastical authorities were 
strong enough to get him deposed ; but a year or two later 
the citizens compelled the cantonal Council to permit the 
free preaching of the Gospel. Sebastian Hofmeister 
preached in Schaffhausen, and induced its people to declare 

of the aacraments. Cf. Decrees of the Coonoil of Bern, quoted in Hermin- 
jard, CorrespoTuUmce des Jt^amuUeurs dans lea pays de langu$ frangaim, 
(Geneva, 1878), i. 484 n., ii. 28 n., also 20. 

^Hermiiyard, Cfronspondanee, etc., ii 128, 188, 199, 226, etc. In Sept 
1680, Bern wrote to the Bishop of Basel, who had imprisoned Henri Pourcellet, 
one of Farel's preaohen : '' Nons ne pouTons d'ailleurs pas toUrer que ceax 
qui partagent notre foi ohr^tienne soient traits d'une telle mtankm," p. 277. 


for (he Beformation. St. Gallen was evangelised bj (he 
Humanist Joachim von Watt (Vadianus), and by John 
Kessler, who had studied at Wittenberg. In (rerman 
Switzerland only Luzem and the Forest cantons remained 
completely and immovably attached to the Boman Church, 
and refused to tolerate any Evangelical preaching within 
their borders. The Swiss Confederacy was divided ecclesi- 
astically into (wo opposite camps. 

The strong religious differences could not but affect the 
political cohesion of the Swiss Confederacy, linked together 
as it was by ties comparatively slight The wonder is (hat 
they did not altogether destroy it. 

As early as 1522, the Bishop of Constance had asked 
the Swiss Federal Diet at their meeting at Baden to pro- 
hibit the preaching of the Beformation doctrines within the 
Federation ; and the next year the Diet, which met again 
at Baden (Sept. 1523), issued a declaration that all who 
practised religious innovations were worthy of punishment. 
The deputies from Luzem were especially active in inducing 
the Diet to pass this resolution. The attempt to use the 
Federation for the purpose of religious persecution, therefore, 
first came from the Bomanist side. Nor did they content 
themselves with declarations in the Diet. The Bomanist 
canton of Unterwalden, being informed that some of the 
peasants in the Bernese Oberland had complained that the 
Beformation had been forced upon them, crossed the 
Bernese frontier and committed an act of war. Bern 
smarted under the insult. 

These endeavours on (he part of his opponents led 
Zwingli to meditate on plans for leaguing together for the 
purposes of mutual defence all who had accepted the 
Beformation. His plans from the first went beyond the 
Swiss Confederacy. 

The imperial city of Constance, the seat of the diocese 
which claimed ecclesiastical authority over Zurich, had 
been mightily moved by the preaching of Ambrose Blaarer, 
and had come over to the Protestant faith. The bishop 
retired to Meersburg and his chapter to Ueberlingen. 


The city feared the attack of Austria, and craved protection 
from the Swiss Protestanta Its alliance was valuable to 
them, for, along with lindaa, it commanded the whole Lake 
of Constanca Zurich thereupon asked that Constance be 
admitted within the Swiss Federation. This was refused 
by the Federal Diet (Nov. 1527). Zurich then entered 
into a Christian Civic League (das ekrisUiehe BtrgerrecfU) 
with Constance, — a league based on their common religious 
beliefs, — ^promising to defend each other if attacked. The 
example once set was soon followed, and the two following 
years saw the League increasing rapidly. Bern joined in 
June 1528, St. Gallon in Nov. 1628, Biel in January, 
Mlihlhausen in February, Basel in March, and Schafihausen 
in October, 1529. Strassburg was admitted in January 
1530. Even Hesse and Wtirtemburg wished to join. 
Bern and Zurich came to an agreement that Evangelical 
preaching must be allowed in the Common Lands, and that 
no one was to be punished for his religious opinions. 

The combination looked so threatening and contained 
such possibilities that Ferdinand of Austria proposed a 
counter-league among the Bomanist cantons; and a 
Christian Union, in which Luzem, Zug, Schwyz, Uri, and 
Unterwalden allied themselves with the Duchy of Austria, 
was founded in 1529, having for its professed objects the 
preservation of the mediaeval religion, with some reforms 
carried out imder the guidance of the ecclesiastical authori* 
ties. The Confederates pledged themselves to secure for 
each other the right to punish heretics. This League had 
also its possibilities of extension. It was thought that 
Bavaria and Salzburg might join. . The canton of the 
Yalais had already leagued itself with Savoy against Greneva, 
and brought its ally within the Christian Union, The 
very formation of the Leagues threatened war, and occa- 
sions of hostilities were not lacking. Austria was eager 
to attack Constance, and Bern longed to punish Unterwalden 
for its unprovoked invasion of Bernese territory. The con- 
dition and protection of the Evangelical population in the 
Common Lands and in the Free Bailiwicks demanded 


settlement, more especially as the Bomanist cantons had 
promised to support each other in asserting their right to 
punish heretics. War seemed to be inevitabla Schaff- 
bausen, Appenzell, and the Graubiinden endeavoured to 
mediate ; but as neither Zurich nor Bern would listen to 
any proposals which did not include the right of free 
preaching, their efforts were in vain. The situation, 
difficult enough, was made worse by the action of the 
canton of Schwyz, which, having caught a Zurich pastor 
named Kaiser on its territory, had him condemned and 
burnt as a heretic. This was the signal for war. It was 
agreed that the Zurichers should attack the Bomanist 
cantons, while Bern defended the Common Lands, and, if 
need be, the territory of her sister canton. The plan of 
campaign was drafted by Zwingli himself, who also laid 
down the conditions of peace. His proposals were, that 
the Forest cantons must allow the free preaching of the 
Gospel within their lands; that they were to forswear 
pensions from any external Power, and that all who 
received them should be punished both corporeally and by 
fine ; that the alliance with Austria should be given up ; 
and that a war indemnity should be paid to Zurich and to 
Bern. While the armies were facing each other the 
Zurichers received a strong appeal from Hans Oebli, the 
Landammann of Glarus, to listen to the proposals of the 
enemy. The common soldiers disliked the internecine 
strife. They looked upon each other as brothers, and the 
outposts of both armies were fraternising. In these cir- 
cumstances the Zurich army (for it was the Swiss custom 
that the armies on the field concluded treaties) accepted the 
terms of peace offered by their opponents. The treaty is 
known as the First Peace of Eappel (June 1529). It pro- 
vided that the alliance between Austria and the Bomanist 
cantons should be dissolved, and the treaties " pierced and 
slit " (the parchments were actually cut in pieces by the 
dagger in sight of all) ; that in the Common Lands no one 
was to be persecuted for his religious opinions ; that the 
majority should decide whether the old faith was to be 


retained or not, and that bailifib of moder«&te opinions 
should be sent to rule them ; that neither party should 
attack the other because of religion ; that a war indemnity 
should be paid by the Bomanist cantons to Zurich and 
Bern (the amount was fixed at 2500 Sonnenkronen) ; and 
that the abolition of foreign pensions and mercenary service 
should be recommended to Luzem and the Forest cantons. 
The treaty contained the seeds of future war; for the 
Zurichers believed that they had secured the right of free 
preaching within the Bomanist cantons, whUe these cantons 
believed that they had been left to regulate their own 
internal economy as they pleased. Zwingli would have 
preferred a settlement after war, and the future justified 
his apprehensions. 

Three months after the First Peace of Kappel, Zwingli 
was summoned to the Marburg Colloquy, and the Beforma* 
tion in Switzerland became inevitably connected with the 
wider sphere of German ecclesiastical politics. It may be 
well, however, to reserve this until later, and finish the 
internal history of the Swiss movement. 

The First Peace of Kappel was only a truce, and 
left both parties irritated with each other. The friction 
was increased when the Protestants discovered that the 
Bomanist cantons would not admit free preaching within 
their territories. They also shrewdly suspected that, 
despite the tearing and burning of the documents, the 
understanding with Austria was still maintained. An 
event occurred which seemed to justify ^heir suspicions 
An Italian condottiere, Giovanni Giacomo de' Medici, had 
seized and held (1625—31) the strong position called the 
Bocco di Musso on the Lake of Como, and from this 
stronghold he dominated the whole lake. This niffian 
had murdered Martin Paul and his son, envoys from the 
Graubiinden to Milan, and had crossed the lake and 
harried the fertile valley of the Adda, known as 
the Val Tellina, which was then within the territories 
of the Graubiinden (Grisons). The Swiss Confederacy 
were bound to defend their neighbours; but when appeal 


was made, the Bomanist cantons refused, and the hand 

of Austria was seen behind the refusal. Besides, at the 

Federal Diets the Bomanist cantons had refused to listen 

to any complaints of pei*secutions for religion within 

their lands. At a meeting between Zurich and her allies, 

it was resolved that the Bomanist cantons should be 

compelled to abolish the system of foreign pensions, and 

permit free preaching within their territories. Zurich 

was for open war, but the advice of Bern prevailed. It 

was resolved that if the Bomanist cantons would not 

i^ree to these proposals, Zurich and her allies should 

prevent wine, wheat, salt, and iron from passing through 

their territories to the Forest cantona The result was 

that the Forest cantons declared war, invaded Zurich 

while that canton was unprepared, fought and won the 

battle of Kappel, at which Zwingli was slain. He had 

accompanied the little army of Zurich as its chaplain. 

The victory of the Bomanists produced a Second Peace of 

Kappel which reversed the conditions of the first. War 

indemnities were exacted from most of the Protestant 

cantons. It was settled that each canton was to be 

left free to manage its own religious affairs; that the 

Chridian Civic League was to be dissolved ; and a number 

of particular provisions were made which practically 

secured the rights of Bomanist without corresponding 

advantages to Protestant minoritie& The territories of 

Zurich were left untouched, but the city was compelled 

by the charter of Kappel to grant rights to her rural 

districta She bound herself to consult them in all 

important matters, and particularly not to make war or 

peace without their consent 

As a result of this ruinous defeat, and of the death of 
Zwingli which accompanied it, Zurich lost her place as 
the leading Protestant canton, and the guidance of the 
Beformation movement fell more and more into the hands 
of Geneva, which was an ally but not a member of the 
Confederation. Another and more important permanent 
Tesolt of this Second Peace of Kappel was that it was 


seen in Switzerland as in Germany that while the 
Beformation could not be destroyed, it could not win for 
itself the whole country, and that Roman Catholics and 
Protestants must divide the cantons and endeavour to 
live peaceably side by side. 

The history of the Beformation in Switzerland after the 
death of Zwingli is so linked with the wider history of the 
movement in Germany and in Geneva, that it can scarcely 
be spoken about separately. It is also intimately related 
to tiie differences which separated Zwingli from Luther 
in the doctrine of the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper. 

§ 7. The SacramerUcU CatUroverajf.^ 

In the Bern Disputation of 1628, the fourth thesis 
said ''it cannot be proved from the Scripture that the 
Body and Blood of Christ are substantially and cor- 
poreally received in the Eucharist,"' and the statement 
became a distinctive watchword of the early Swiss 
Beformation. This thesis, a negative one, was perhaps 
the earliest official statement of a bold attempt to get 
rid of the priestly miracle in the Mass, which was the 
strongest theoretical and practical obstacle to the acceptance 
of the fundamental Protestant thought of the spiritual 
priesthood of all believers. The question had been seriously 
exercising the attention of all the leading theologians of 
the Beformation, and this very trenchant way of dismissing 
it had suggested itself simultaneously to theologians in 
the Low Countries, in the district of the Upper Bhine, 

^ SouBOES : E. F. K. Muller, Die Behen/n^is9chr0en der rrformUri§m 
SXrehe (Leipzig, 1908), pp. 1-100 ; Hospixiiui, ffistoria Saerwmentariaf 
2 toIb. (Geneya, 1681). 

Later Books : Ebrard, Daa Dogma vom Tieiliffen Abendmahl und jetM 
Oegchichle (Frankfurt a M. 1845--46), vol. ii. ; Schweizer, Dieprotedantisehen 
Centraldogmen in ihrer Entwickdung innerhalb der re/armUfien Ktrche 
(Zarich, 1854-56) ; Hundefihagon, Die Konfiikte des ZwinglianinntUf 
Lutherthumay und CcUviniemus in den Bemiachen Landkirehen IStfS- 
1668y naeh meist vngedrucklen Quellen dargesUlt (Bern, 1842) ; compare alao 
vol. i. 852 ff. 

* MiiUer, Die Bekenntnieachr^ten dea rtformierten Kirehe, p. 80. 


and in many of the imperial cities: It had been pro- 
claimed in all its naked simplicity by Andrew Bodenstein 
of Carlstadt, the theologian of the German democracy; 
but it was Zwingli who worked at the subject care- 
fully, and who had produced a reasonable if somewhat 
defective theory based on a rather shallow exegesis, in 
which the words of our Lord, " This is My Body," were 
declared to mean nothing but " This signifies My Body." 
Luther, always disposed to think harshly of anything that 
came from Carlstadt, inclined to exaggerate his influence 
with the German Protestant democracy, believing with his 
whole heart that in the Sacrament of the Holy Supper 
the elements Bread and Wine were more than the bare 
signs of the Body and Blood of the Lord, was vehemently 
moved to find such views concerning a central doctrine 
of Christianity spreading through his beloved Germany. 
He never paused to ask whether the opinions he saw 
adopted with eagerness in most of the imperial cities 
were really difierent from those of Carlstadt (for that is 
one of the sad facts in this deplorable controversy). He 
simply denounced them, and stormed against Zwingli, 
whose name was spread abroad as their author and 
propagator. Numberg was almost the only great city 
that remained faithful to him. It was the only city 
also which was governed by the ancient patriciate, and 
in which the democracy had little or no power. When 
van Hoen and Earl Stadt in the Netherlands, Hedio at 
Mainz, Conrad Sam at Ulm, when the preachers of 
Augsburg, Strassburg, Frankfurt, BeutliDgen, and other 
cities accepted and taught Zwingli's doctrine of the 
Eucharist, Luther and his immediate circle saw a great 
deal more than a simple division in doctrine. It was 
something more than the meaning of the Holy Supper or 
the ex^esis of a difficult text which rent Protestantism 
in two, and made Luther and Zwingli appear as the 
leaders of opposing parties in a movement where union 
was a supreme necessity after the decision at Speyer in 
1629. The theological question was complicated by 


social and political ideas, which, if not acknowledged 
openly, were at least in the minds of the leaders who 
took sides in the disputa On the one side were men 
whom Luther held to be in part responsible for the 
Peasants' War, who were the acknowledged leaders of 
that democracy which he had learnt to distrust if not to 
fear, who still wished to link the Beformation to vast 
political schemes, all of which tended, to weaken the 
imperial power by means of French and other alliances, 
and who only added to their other iniquities a theological 
theory which, he honestly believed, would take away from 
believers their comforting assurance of union with their 
Lord in the Sacrament of the Holy Supper. 

The real theological difTerence after all did not 
amoimt to so much as is generally said. Zwingli's 
doctrine of the Holy Supper was not the crude theory 
of Carlstadt ; and Luther might have seen this if he had 
only fairly examined it The opposed views were, in fact, 
complementary, and the pronounced ideas of each were 
implicitly, though not expressly, held by the other. Luther 
and Zwingli approached the subject from two different 
points of view, and in debate they neither understood nor 
were exactly facing each other. 

The whole Christian Church, during all the centuries, 
has found three great ideas embodied in the Sacrament of 
the Holy Supper, and all three have express reference to 
the death of the Saviour on the Cross for His people. 
The thoughts are Proclamation, Commemoration, and 
Participation or Communion. In the Supper, believers 
proclaim the death and what it means ; they commemorate 
the Sacrifice ; and they partake in or have communion 
with the crucified Christ, who is also the Bisen Saviour. 
The mediaeval Church had insisted that this sacramental 
union with Christ was in the hands of the priesthood to 
give or to withhold. Duly ordained priests, and they 
alone, could bring the worshippers into such a relation 
with Christ as would make the Sacramental participation 
a possible thing; and out of this claim had grown the 


medkeyal theoiy of TransubstantiatioiL It had also 
divided the Sacrament of the Supper into two distinct 
rites (the phrase is not too strong) — the Mass and the 
Eucharist — the one connecting itself instinctively with the 
commemoration and the other with the participation. 

Protestants united in denying the special priestly 
miracle needed to bring Christ and His people together in 
the Sacrament; hut it is easy to see that they might 
approach the subject by the two separate paths of Mass 
or Eucharist Zwingli took the one road and Luther 
happened on the other. 

Zwingli believed that the mediaeval Church had dis- 
placed the scriptural thought of commemoration, and put 
the non-scriptural idea of repetition in its place., For the 
mediaeval priest claimed that in virtue of the miraculous 
power given in ordination, he could really change the 
bread and wine into the actual physical Body of Jesus, and, 
when this was done, that he could reproduce over again 
the agony of the Cross by crushing it with his teeth. This 
idea seemed to Zwingli to be utterly profane ; it dishonoured 
the One great Sacrifice ; it was unscriptural ; it depended 
on a priestly gift of working a miracle which did not exist 
Then he believed that the sixth chapter of St John's 
Gospel forbade all thought that spiritual benefits could 
come from a mere partaking with the mouth. It was the 
atonement worked out by Christ's death that was appropri- 
ated and commemorated in the Holy Supper ; and the 
atonement is always received by faiths Thus the two 
principal thoughts in the theory of Zwingli are, that the 
mediaeval doctrine must be purified by changing the idea 
of repetition of the death of Christ for commemoration of 
that death, and the thought of manducating with the teeth 
for that of faith which is the faculty by which spiritual 
benefits are received. But Zwingli believed that a living 
faith always brought with it the presence of Christ, for 
there can be no true faith without actual spiritual contact 
with the Saviour. Therefore Zwingli held that there was 
a Beal Presence of Christ in the Holy Supper; but a 


spiritual presence brought by the faith of the believing 
communicant and not by the elements of Bread and Wine, 
which were only the signs representinff a Body which was 
corporeally absent The defect of this theory is that it 
does not make the Presence of Christ in the Sacrament in 
any way depend on the ordinance; there is no sacramental 
presence other than what there is in any act of faith. It 
was not until Zwingli had elaborated his theory that he 
sought for and found an explanation of the words of our 
Lord, and taught that This is My Body, must mean This 
signifies My Body. His theory was entirely different from 
that of Carlstadt, with which Luther always identified it. 

Luther approached the whole subject by a different 
path. What repelled him in the mediaeval docrine of the 
Holy Supper was the way in which he believed it to 
trample on the spiritual priesthood of all believers. He 
protested against Transubstantiation and private Masses, 
because they were the most flagrant instances of that 
contempt. When he first preached on the subject (1619) 
it was to demand the " cup " for the laity, and he makes 
use of an expression in his sermon which reveals how his 
thoughts were tending. He says that in the Sacrament of 
the Holy Supper " the communicant is so united to Christ 
and His sainZs, that Christ's hfe and sufferings and the lives 
and sufferings of the saints become his." No one held more 
strongly than Luther that the Atonement was made by 
our Lord, and by Him alone. Therefore he cannot be 
thinking of the Atonement when he speaks of union with 
the lives and the sufferings of the saints. He believes 
that the main thing in the Sacrament is that it gives such 
a companionship with Jesus as His disciples and saints have 
had. There was, of course, a reference to the death of 
Christ and to the Atonement, for apart from that death 
no companionship is possible ; but the reference is indirect, 
and through the thought of the fellowship. In the Sacra- 
ment we touch Christ as His disciples might have touched 
Him when He lived on earth, and as His glorified sainta 
touch Him now. This reference, therefore, clearly shows 


that Luther saw in the Sacrament of the Supper the 
presence of the glorified Body of our Lord, and that the 
primary use of the Sacrament was to bring the com- 
municant into contact with that glorified Body. This 
required a presence (and Luther thought a presence 
extended in space) of the glorified Body of Christ in the 
Sacrament in order that the communicant might be 
in actual contact with it But communion with the Living 
Christ implies the appropriation of the death of Christ, and 
of the Atonement won by His death. Thus the reference 
to the Crucified Christ which Zwingli reaches directly, 
Luther attains indirectly ; and the reference to the Living 
Bisen Christ which Zwingli reaches indirectly, Luther 
attains directly. Luther avoided the need of a priestly 
miracle to bring the Body extended in space into immediate 
connection with the elements Bread and Wine, by intro- 
ducing a scholastic theory of what is meant by presence 
in Space. A body may be present in Space, said the 
Schoolmen, in two ways : it may be present in such a way 
that it excludes from the space it occupies any other body, 
or it may be present occupjring the same space with 
another body. The Glorified Body of Christ can be present 
in the latter manner. It was so when our Lord after His 
Besurrection appeared suddenly among His disciples in a 
room when the doors were shut ; for then at some moment 
of time it must have occupied the same space as a portion 
of the walls or of the door. Christ's glorified Body can 
therefore be naturally in the elements without any special 
miracle, for it is tiMquit&us. It is in the table at which 
I write, said Luther ; in the stone which I hurl through 
the air. It is in the elements in the Holy Supper in a 
perfectly natural way, and needs no priestly miracle to 
bring it there. This natural presence of the Body of 
Christ in the elements in the Supper is changed into a 
Sacramental Presence by the promise of God, which is 
attached to the reverent and believing partaking of the 
Holy Supper. 

These were the tyyp theories which ostensibly divided 


the Protestants in 1629 into two parties, the one of which 
was led by Zwingli and the other by Luther. They were 
not so antagonistic that they could not he reconciled. Each 
theologian held implicitly what the other declared explicitly. 
Zwingli placed the relation to the Death of Christ in the 
for^rround, but implicitly admitted the relation to the 
Risen Christ — going back to the view held in the Early 
Church. Luther put fellowship with the Bisen Christ in 
the foreground, but admitted the reference to the Crucified 
Christ — accepting the mediseval way of looking at the 
matter. The one had recourse to a very shallow exegesis 
to help him, and the other to a scholastic theory of space ; 
and naturally, but unfortunately, when controversy arose, 
the disputant attacked the weakest part of his opponent's 
theory — Luther, Zwingli's exegesis ; and Zwingli, Luther's 
scholastic theory of spatial presence^ 

The attempt to bring about an understanding between 
Luther and Zwingli, mfde by Philip of Hesse, the confidant 
of Zwingli, and in sympathy with the Swiss Keformer's 
schemes of political combination, has already been 
mentioned, and its failure related.^ It need not be dis- 
cussed again. But for the history of the Beformation in 
Switzerland it is necessary to say something about the 
further progress of this Sacramental controversy. Calvin 
gradually won over the Swiss Protestants to his views ; and 
his theory, which at one time seemed about to unite the 
divided Protestants, must be alluded to. 

Calvin began his study of the doctrine of the Sacra- 
ment of the Holy Supper independently of both Luther 
and Zwingli. His position as the theologian of Switzer- 
land, and his friendship with his colleague William Farel, 
who was a Zwinglian, made him adapt his theory to 
Zwinglian language; but he borrowed nothing from the 
Beformer of Zurich. He was quite willing to accept 
Zwingli's exegesis so far as the words went ; but he gave 
another and altogether dififerent meaning to Zwingli's 
phrase, This signi/ies My Body, He was willing to call 

^ Gt vol. L 862 ff. 


the ** elements " aigns of the Body and Blood of the Lord ; 
but while Zwingli called them signs which represent (jngna 
represenUUiva) what was abserU^ Calvin insisted on calling 
them signs which exhibit (signa exhibitiva) what was present 
— a distinction which is continually forgotten in describing 
his relation to the theories of Zwingli, and one which 
enabled him to convince Luther that he held that there 
was a Beal Presence of Christ's Body in the Sacrament of 
the Holy Supper. To describe minutely Calvin's doctrine 
of the Holy Supper would require more space than can be 
given here, and a brief statement of the central thoughts is 
alone possible. His aim in common with all the Bef ormers 
was to construct a doctrine of the Sacrament of the Supper 
which would be at once scriptural, free from superstition 
and from the crass materialist associations which had 
gathered round the theory of transubstantiation, and which 
would clearly conserve the great Beformation proclamation 
of the spiritual priesthood of all believers. He went back 
to the medieval idea of transubstantiation, and asked 
whether it gave a true conception of what was meant by 
9ub$t(ine$, He decided that it did not, and believed that 
the root thought in mbstance was not dimensions in space,- 
but power. The substance of a body consists in its potoer, 
active and passive, and the presence of the substance of any- 
thing consists in the immediate application of that power.^ 
When Luther and Zwingli had spoken of the substance of 
the Body of Christ, they had always in their mind the 
thought of something extended in space; and the one 
affirmed while the other denied that this Body of Christ, 
something extended in space, could be and was present in 
the Sacrament of the Supper. Calvin's conception of 
tubstanee enabled him to say that wherever anything acts 
there it is. He denied the crude " substantial " presence 
which Luther insisted on; and in this he sided with 
ZwinglL But he affirmed a real because active presence, 
and in this he sided with Luther. 

Calvin's view had been accepted definitely by 

> Leibnitz, Pensies d$ ZeOmiUt, 2nd ed. (Paris, 1808) p. 106. 


Melanchthon, and somewhat indefimtelj by Luther 
The imperial cities, led by Strassburg, which was under 
the influence of Bucer, who had thought out for himself 
a doctrine not unlike that of Calvin, had been included in 
the Wittenberg Concord (May 1536); but Luther would 
have nothing to do with the Swiss. As it was vain to 
hope that Switzerland would be included in any Lutheran 
alliance, Calvin set himself to produce dogmatic harmony 
in Switzerland. In conjimction with Bullinger, Zwingli's 
son-in-law and successor in Zurich, he drafted the Consensug 
of Zurich (Consenam Tigurinus) in 1549.^ The document 
is Calvinisl in theology and largely Zwinglian in languaga 
It was accepted with some difficulty in Basel and in Bern, 
and heartily in Biel, Schaffhausen, Miihlhausen, and St 
Gallen. It ended dogmatic disputes in Protestant Switzer- 
land, which was thus united under the one creed. 

This does not mean any increase of Protestantism within 
Switzerland. The Bomanist cantons drew more closely 
together. Cardinal Carlo Borromeo of Milan took a deep 
interest in the coimter-Beformation in Switzerland. He 
introduced the Jesuits into Luzem and the Forest cantons, 
and after his death these cantons formed a league which 
included Luzem, Uri, Schwyz, Zug, Unterwalden, Freiburg, 
and Solothum (1586). This League (the Borramean League) 
pledged its members to maintain the Boman Catholic 
faith. The lines of demarcation between Protestant and 
Bomanist cantons in Switzerland practically survive to 
the present day. 

^ Muller, DU Bekennlniaaehriftm der rtformurtifi Mirehe, p. 169« 



§ 1. Geneva. 

OxNXVA, which was to be the citadel of the Reformed 
faith in Europe, had a history which prepared it for the 
part it was destined to play. 

The ancient constitution of the town, solemnly pro- 
mulgated in 1387, recognised three different authorities 
within its walls: the Bishop, who was the sovereign or 
" Prince " of the city ; the Count, who had possession of 
the citadel ; and the Free Burghers. The first act of the 

^ S0VBCB8 : M^nunru et doeumgnU pMUs patr la 8oei4U tThiiUrire et 
ttareh€Boloffie de Oenive (especially Tola, ii v. ix. xv. xz.) ; Froment, Lea 
Ade$ et gede$ mofrveUUux delaeiU de OerUve (ed. of 1854 by 0. Bevillod) ; 
La Soenr Jeanne de Jnaaie, Le lewin du Calvinimne (ed. of 1865) ; O. Faiel, 
LeUret ceriaine$ dPauewne grand* trouUee et tumtUtee adrenwt d Oenive, avec 
la diapvloHanfaicU Van 15S4 (Basel, 1588) ; BegiHree du Conseil de OefUve 
(known to me only through the extracts given by Henninjard, Doumergne, 
and others) ; Hermiigiird, Corresjtondance dee Riformateure dans lee pays de 
langtu fran^aiae, 9 vols. (Geneva, etc., vols. i. ii. in a 2nd edition, 1878, 
▼nls. sL-ix. 1870-97) ; (^vin. Opera omnia, vols, xxix.-lxxxvii. of the 
CarpuB Brformaionim (Bronswick and Berlin, 1869-97) ; Bonnet, LeUret 
frtm^aiseM de Jean Calvm (Paris, 1854) ; Beza, Vita Oalvini (vol. xlix. of the 
Carpne JUfarmaicrum) ; Billiet, Le premier eaUehiame de Calvin (Paris, 

Latu W0KK8 : Donmergae, Jean Calvin, lea hammea et lea eh(ma de 
mm tempa (only three vols, published, Lausanne, 1899, 1902, 1905) ; Bnngener, 
Jemt Calvin, aavie, aon eeuvre et aea Merita (Paris, 1862-63) ; Kampschulte, 
Jokamn Calvin, aeiiu Kirthe und aeine Stadt in Oenf (Leipzig, 1869-99) ; 
A. Soget, Histaire du peuple de Cfenive depuia la Seformej aqu*d Veacalade 
(Geneva, 1870-88) ; Dnnant, Lea relaiiana pditiguea de OerUve avec Berne et 
lea Suiaaea de lSS6-^4 (Geneva, 1894) ; Buchat, ffiatoire de la BtfomyUitm 
de lb Suiaae, ed. by Vulliemin (Paris and Lausanne, 1886-88). 



Bishop on his nomination was to go to the Churoh of St. 
Peter and swear on the Missal that he would maintain the 
civic right& The House of Savoy had succeeded to the 
countship of Greneva, and they were represented within 
the town by a viceroy, who was called the Count or 
Vtdomne. He was the supreme justiciary. The citizens 
were democratically organised. They met once a year in a 
recognised civic assembly to elect four Syndics to be their 
rulers and representatives. It was the Syndics who in 
their official capacity heard the oaths of the Bishop and of 
the Vidomne to uphold the rights and privileges of the town. 
They kept order within the walls from sunrise to sunset 

These three separate authorities were frequently in 
conflict, and in the triangular duel the citizens and the 
Bishop were generally in alliance against the House of 
Savoy and its viceroy. The consequence was that few 
mediffival cities under ecclesiastical rule were more loyal 
than Geneva was to its Bishop, so long as he respected the 
people's rights and stood by them against their feudal lords 
when they attempted oppression. 

In the years succeeding 1444 the hereditary loyalty 
to their bishops had to stand severe tests. Count 
Amadous viii. of Savoy, one of the most remarkable men 
of the fifteenth century, — ^he ascended the papal throne 
and resigned the Pontificate to become a hermit, — used 
his pontifical power to possess himself of the bishopric. 
From that date onwards the Bishop of Geneva was almost 
always a member of the House of Savoy, and the rights 
of the citizens were for the most part disregarded. The 
bishopric became an appanage of Savoy, and boys (one of 
ten years of age, another of seventeen) and bastards ruled 
from the episcopal chair. 

After long endurance a party formed itself among the 
townspeople vowed to restore the old rights of the city. 
They called themselves, or were named by others, the 
Eidguenots (Eidgenossen) ; while the partisans of the Bishop 
and of the House of Savoy were termed Mamelukes, because, 
it was said, they had forsaken Christianity. 


In their difiBculties the Genevans tamed to the Swiss 
cantons nearest them and asked to be allied with Freiburg 
and Bern. Freiburg consented, and an alliance was made 
in 1519 ; but Bern, an aristocratic republic, was unwilling 
to meddle in the struggle of a democracy in a town outside 
the Swiss Confederacy. The citizens of Bern, more 
sympathetic than their ruleis, compelled them to make 
alliance with Geneva in 1526, — very half-heartedly on 
the port of the Bernese Council. 

The Swiss cantons, Bern especially, could not in their 
own interest see the patriotic party in Geneva wholly 
crushed, and the "gate of Western Switzerland" left 
completely in possession of the House of Savoy. There- 
fore, when the Bishop assembled axx army for the purpose 
of effectually crushing all opposition within the town, 
Bern and Freiburg collected their forces and routed the 
troops of Savoy. But the allies, instead of using to the 
full the advantage they had gained, were content with a 
compromise by which the Bishop remained the lord of 
Geneva, while the rights of the Vidomne were greatly 
curtailed, and the privil^es of the townsmen were to be 
respected (Oct. 19th, 1530). 

From this date onwards Geneva was governed by 
what was called le Petit Conseily and was generally spoken 
of as the Council ; then a Council of Two Hundred, framed 
on the model of those of Freiburg and Bern ; lastly, by the 
Conseil Oeneral, or assembly of the citizens. All important 
transactions were first submitted to and deliberated on by 
the PetU Conseil, which handed them on with their opinion 
of what ought to be done to the Coun>cU of the Two 
Hundred. No change- of situation — for example, the 
adoption of the Beformation — was finally adopted until 
submitted to the Oeneral Council of all the burgher& 

It is possible that had there seemed to be any immediate 
prospects that Geneva would join the Beformation, 
Bern would have aided the patriots more effectually. 
Bern was the great Protestant Power in Western Switzer-: 
land. Its uniform policy, since 1528, had been to 


constitute itself the protector of towns and districts where 
a majority of the inhabitants were anxious to take the 
side of the Beformation and were hindered by their over- 
lords. It made alliances with the towns in the territories 
of the Bishop of Basel, and ^labled them to assert their 
independence. In May (23rd) 1532 it warned the Duke 
of Savoy that if he thought of persecuting the inhabitants 
of Payeme because of their religion, it would make their 
cause its own, and declared that its alliance with the town 
was much more ancient than any existing between Bern 
and the Duke.^ But the case of Geneva was different. 
Signs, indeed, were not lacking that many of the people 
were inclined to the Beformation,' It is more than prob- 
able that some of the members of the Coimcils were 
longing for a religious reform But however much in 
earnest the reformers might be, they were in a minority, 
and it was no part of the policy of Bern to interfere 
without due call in the internal administration of the 
city ; still less to see the rise of a strong and independent 
Boman Catholic city-republic on its own western border. 

Suddenly, in the middle of 1532, Geneva was thrown 
into a state of violent religious commotion. Pope Clement 
vn. had published an Indulgence within the city on the 
usual conditions. On the morning of June 9 th, the 
citizens found posted up on all the doors of the churches 
great printed placards, announcing that "plenary pardon 
would be granted to every one for all their sins on the 
one condition of repentance, and a living faith in the 

A Buchat, Hiitoin d$ la lUfarmation de la Suim (Paris, 1885-S8), 
iiL 138. 

' We read of Lather's books being read in GeneTa as early as May 1521, 
and that their effect was to give several of the people heart to care little for 
the threats of the Popo ; in 1522, Cornelius Agrippa, writing to Gapito 
(Jane 17th), and Haller, writing to Zwingli (Jaly 8fh), speak of Francis 
Lambert (vir probus et dUigens minister Ferbi Dei), who had preached in 
Geneva, Laasanne, Freiburg, and Bern ; and in 1527, Hofen, secretary to 
the GouDcil of Bern, writing to Zwingli (Jan. 15th), thinks that (jeneva 
could be won for the Beformation, — he had noticed that the people no longer 
cared much for Indulgenoes or for the Mass (Hermii^ard, CorrcnpofutoiMS, vte. 
i. 101-8, 818 M., iL 9 f., 10 n. ; c£ 6). 


promises of Jesus Christ." The city was moved to its 
depths. Priests rushed to tear the placards down. 
" Lutherans " interfered. Tumults ensued ; and one of the 
canons of the cathedral, Pierre Werly, was wounded in the 

The Bomanists, both inside and outside the town, 
were inclined to believe that the affair meant more than 
it really did. Freiburg had been very suspicious of the 
influence of the great Protestant canton of Bern, perhaps 
not without reason. In March (7th) 1632, the deputies 
of Creneva had been blamed by the inhabitants of Freiburg 
for being inclined to Lutheranism, and it is more than 
likely that the Evangelicals of Geneva had some private 
dealings with the Council of Bern, and had been told that 
the times were not ripe for any open action on the part 
of the Protestant canton. The affair of the placards, 
witnessing as it did the increased strength of the 
Evangelical party, reawakened suspicions and intensified 
alarms. A deputy from Freiburg appeared before the 
Council of Greneva, complaining of the placards,^ and of 
the distribution of heretical literature in the city of Geneva 
(June 24th). The Papal Nuncio wrote from Chambery 
(July 8th), asking if it were true, as was publicly re- 
ported, that the Lutheran heresy was openly professed and 
taught in the houses, churches, and even In the schools 
of Geneva.' The letter of the Nuncio was dismissed 
with a careless answer ; but Freiburg had to be contented. 

^ J. A. Oantier, ffUtaire de OefUve (Geneva, 1896), ii 849. The nun, 
Sceor Jeanne de Joasie, in her Levain du Calvinisme (p. 46), says ''An mois 
de Join, dimanohe matin, le 9, certain nombre de maavais garfons plan- 
t&nnt grands placards en itapression par toutes les portea dee ^glises de 
Gen^e, esquels estoient oontenns les principanz poinots de la secte perverse 
Inth^rienne " ; and another contemporary chronicler says that the placards 
ptromised a *' grand pardon g6n^ral de Jesas Christ " (Herminjard, Correspond- 
anee, etc. iL 422 n.). 

* Their letter said that it was reported that " nonnnllos ez Gebennensibns 
apposniase oertas oednlas indaotorias ad novam legem, contra auctoritatem 
episoopalem, et quod habent libroe et promulgant ; quod est contra volun* 
tatem D. Fribni^ensium " {Ibid, ii 421 fk). 

s Ibid, ii 424. 



Two extracts from the Register of the Council quoted by 
Herminjard show their anxiety to satisfy Freiburg and 
yet bear evidence of a very moderate zeal for the Bomanist 
religion. They decided (June 29 th) that no schoolmaster 
was to be allowed to preach in the town unless specially 
licensed by the vicar or the Syndics ; and (June 30 th) they 
resolved to request the vicar to see that the Grospel and the 
Epistle of the day were read " truthfully without being 
mixed up with fables and other inventions of men ** ; they 
added that they meant to live as their fathers, without any 

The 'excitement had not died down when Farel arrived 
in the city in the autumn of 1532. He preached quietly 
in houses ; but his coming was known, and led to some 
tumult& He and his companions, Saunier and Olivetan, 
were seized and sent out of the city. The Beformation 
had begun, and, in spite of many hindrances, was destined 
to be successful. 

§ 2. The Seformatian in Western SuntzerlanoL 

The conversion of Geneva to the Reformed faith was 
the crown of a work which had been promoted by the 
canton of Bern ever since its Council had decided, in 
1528, to adopt the ReformatioiL Bern itself belonged to 
German-speaking Switzerland, but it had extensive posses- 
sions in the French-speaking districts. It was the only 
State strong enough to confront the Dukes of Savoy, and 
was looked upon as a natural protector against that House 
and other feudal principalitiea Its position may be seen 
in its relations to the Pays de Yaud. The Pays de 
Yaud consisted of a confederacy of towns and small feudal 
estates owning fealty to the House of Savoy. The nobles, 
the towns, and in some instances the clergy, sent deputies 
to a Diet which me^ at Moudon under the presidency of 
the " governor and bailli de Yaud," who represented the 
Duke of Savoy. A large portion of the country had 

1 Hermiigard, Corretipondancs, ii. 425 m 


broken away from Savoy at difTerent periods during the 
fifteenth century. Lausanne and eight other smaller 
towns and districts formed the patrimony of the Prince- 
Bishop of Lausanne. The cantons of Freiburg and Bern 
ruled jointly over Orbe, Grandson, and Morat Bern had 
become the sole ruler over what were called the four 
commanderies of Aigle, Ormonts, Ollon, and Bex. These 
four commanderies were outlying portions of Bern, and 
were entirely under the rule of its Council When Bern 
had accepted the Reformation, it naturally wished its de- 
pendencies to follow its example; and its policy wae 
always directed to induce other portions of the Pays de 
Yaud to become Protestant also. Farel, the Apostle of 
French-speaking Switzerland, might almost be called an 
agent of the Council of Bern. 

Its method of work may be best seen by taking the 
examples of Aigle and Lausanne, the one its own posses- 
sion and the other belonging to the Prince-Bishop, who 
was its political ruler. 

William Farel, once a member of the "group of 
Meaux/' whom we have already seen active at the 
Disputation in Bern in the beginning of 1528, had settled 
at Aigle in 1526, probably by the middle of November.^ 
He did so, he says in his "memoir to the Council of Bern — 

''With the intention of opening a school to instruct the 
youth in virtue and learning, and in order to procure foi 
myself the necessities of life. Received at once with 
brotherly good-will by some of the burghers of the place, 
I was asked by them to preach the Word of God before 
the Oovernor, who was then at Bern, had returned. I 
acceded to their request. But as soon as the Governor 
returned I asked his permission to keep the school, and by 
acquaintances also asked him to permit me to preach. The 
Governor acceded to their request, but on condition that I 
preached nothing but the pure simple clear Word of God 
according to the Old and New Testament, without any 
addition contrary to the Word, and without attacking the 
Holy Sacrament& ... I promised to conform myself to the 

1 CI p. 89, «. 


v^ill of the Governor, and declared myself ready to submit 
to any punishment he pleased to inllict upon me if I dis- 
obeyed his orders or acted in any way recognised to be 
contrary to the Word of God." ^ 

This was the beginning of a work which gradually spread 
over French-speaking Switzerland. 

The Bishop of Sion, within whose diocese Aigle was 
situated, published an order forbidding all wandering 
preachers who had not his episcopal licence from preaching 
within the confines of his diocese; and this appears to 
have been used gainst FareL Some representation must 
have been made to the Council of Bern, who indignantly 
declared that no one was permitted to publish citations, 
excommunications, interdicts, ne autresfanfares within their 
territories ; but at the same time ordered Farel to cease 
preaching, because he had never been ordained a priest 
(February 22nd, 1527).« The interdict did not last very 
long ; for a minute of Council (March 8th) says, '* Farel 
is permitted to preach at Aigle until the Coadjutor sends 
another capable priest."' Troubles arose from priests 
and monks, but upon the whole the Council of Bern 
supported him ; and Haller and others wrote from Bern 
privately, beseeching him to persevere.^ He remained, and 
the number of those who accepted the Evangelical faith 
under his ministry increased gradually until they appear 
to have been the majority of the people.* He confessed 
himself that what hindered him most was his denunciation 
of the prevailing immoralities. At the Disputation in 
Bern, Farel was recognised to be one of the ablest - 
theologians present, and to have contributed in no small 
degree to the success of the conference. The Council 

1 Hermiojard, Correapondance, etc. ii. 22/. Farel preached bii fint 
■ermon at Aigle on Friday, Not. 80th, 1626 

* Ibid. iL 14, 15. 
s IHd, IL 19 n. 

* Ibid, ii. 81 ». 

' Farel seems to haye asked his converts to sabmit to baptism ; they 
were baptized in the presence of the congiegation on making a solemn and 
public profession of their faith. — Ibid. 48 n. 


v: of Bern saw in him the instrument best fitted for the 

I' eyangehsation of their French-speaking population. He 

^ returned to Aigle under the protection of the Council, 

who sent a heiald with him to ensure that he should be 

rr treated with all respect, and gave him besides an ** open 
letter/' ordering their officials to render him all assistance 
everywhere within their four commanderies.^ He was 
recognised to be the evangelist of the Council of Bern. 
This did not prevent occasional disturbances, riots pro- 

5 moted by priests and monks, who set the bells a-ringing 
to drown the preacher's voice, and sometimes procured 
men to beat drums at the doors of the churches in which 
he was preaching. His success, however, was so great, that 
when the commissioners of Bern visited their four 
commanderies they found that three of them were ready 
by a majority of votes to adopt the Beformation (March 
2nd, 1528). The adoption of the Beformation was 
signified by the removal of altars and images, and by the 
abolition of the Mass. 

In the parishes where a majority of the people 
declared for the Beformation, the Council of Bern issued 
instructions about the order of public worship and other 
ecclesiastical rites. Thus we find them intimating to 
their Governor at Aigle that they expected the people 
to observe the same form of Baptism, of the Table of the 
Lord, and of the celebration of marriage, as was in use at 
Bern (April 25th, 1528).« The Bern Liturgy, obligatory 
in all the German-speaking districts of the canton, was 
not imposed on the Bomance Churches until 1552. Then, 
in July (1528), the Governor is informed that — 

•* My Lords have resolved to allow to the preachers Farel 
and Simon *pour leur pr^beude' two hundred florins of 
Savoy annually, and a house with a court, and a kitchen 
garden. But if they prefer to have the old revenues of the 
parish cures . . . my Lords are willing. If, on the 
contrary, they take the two hundred florins, you are to 

* Hennu^ard, Correspondane§, etc. ii. 105 n. 

• Md. ti. 180, 181. 


sell the ecclesiastical goods, and you are to collect the 
hundredths and the tithes, and out of all you are to pay 
the two hundred florins annually." ^ 

The pastors preferred to take the place of the Bomanist 
incumbents, and there is accordingly another minute sent 
to the Castellan, syndic, and parishioners of Aigle, ordering 
Farel to be placed in possession of the ecclesiastical posses- 
sions of the parish, " seeing that it is reasonable that the 
pastor should have his portion of the fruits of the sheep." * 

The history of Aigle was repeated over and over again 
in other parts of western Switzerland. In the bailiwicks 
which Bern and Freiburg ruled jointly, Bern insisted on 
freedom of preaching, and on the right of the people to 
choose whether they would remain Bomanists or become 
Protestants. Commissioners from the two cantons pre- 
sided when the votes were given. 

Farel was too valuable to be left as pastor of a small 
district like Aigle. We find him making wide preaching 
tours, always protected by Bern when protection was 
possible. It was the rooted belief of the Protestants that 
a public Disputation on matters of religion in presence of 
the people, the speakers using the language understood by 
the crowd, always resulted in spi*eading the Beformation ; 
and Bern continually tried to get such conferences in 
towns where the authorities were Bomanist. Their first 
interference in the ecclesiastical affairs of Lausanne was of 
this kind. It seems that some of the priests of Lausanne 
had accused Farel of being a heretic ; whereupon the 
Council of Bern demanded that Farel should be heard 
before the Bishop of Lausanne's tribunal, in order to prove 
that he was no heretic. The claim led to a long corre- 
spondence. The Bishop continually refused; while the 
Council and citizens seemed inclined to grant the request. 
Farel could not get a hearing before the episcopal tribunal, 
but he visited the town, and on the second occasion was 
permitted by the Council to preach to the peopla This 
occurred again and again ; and the result was that the 

> Hermiigard, Correspmidanee, etc. ii. 181 ». > IHd, il 187. 


town became ProteateBt snd disowned the authority of the 
Bishop. Bern aansted the inhabitants to drive the Bishop 
MWj , and to become a free municipality and Protestant. 

Gradually Farel had become the leader of an organised 
band of missioners, who devoted themselves to the evangeli- 
sation of western or French-speaking Switzerland.^ They 
had been carefully selected — ^young men for the most 
part well educated, of unbounded courage, willing to face 
all the risks of their dangerous work, daunted by no threat 
or peril, taking their lives in their hand. They were the 
forerunners of the young preachers, teachers, and colpor- 
teurs whom Calvin trained later in Geneva and sent forth 
by the hundred to evangelise France and the Low 
Countries. They were all picked men. No one was 
admitted to the little band without being well warned of 
the hazardous work before him, and some who were ready 
to take all the risks were rejected because the leader was 
not sure that they had the necessary powers of endurance.* 
These preachers were under the protection of the canton 
of Bern, whose authorities were resolute to maintain the 
freedom to preach the Word of God ; but they continually 
went where the Bernese had no power to assist them ; nor 
could the protection of that powerful canton aid them in 
sadden emergencies when bitter Bomanist partisans, in- 
furiated by the invectives with which the preachers lashed 
the abuses of the Boman religion, or wrathful at their very 
presence, stirred up the mob against them. When their 
correspondence and that of their opponents — a corre- 
spondence collected and carefully edited by M. Herminjard 
— ^is read, it can be seen that they could always count on 
a certain amount of sympathy from the people of the 
towns and villages where they preached, but that the 

' Bi. Herminjard givet a list of their names— Cland de Glantinis, 

Alexandre le Bel, Thomas , Henri Pourcellet, Jean Bosset, Antoine 

Froment, Antoine Marconrt, Eymer Beynon, Pierre Marmoud, Huguea 
Tnrtai, and perhaps Jean Holard, Pierre Simonin or Symonier, Glande 
Bl^thier, Jean de B^ly, Jean Fathon. 

' Cf. letter of Farel to Fortunat Andronicua, in Herminjard, Corre^Mmd' 
once, etc ii. 807. 


authorities were for the most part hostile. If Bern insisted 
on their protection, Freiburg was as eu^tive in opposing 
them, and lost no opportunity of urging the looal authori- 
ties to harass them in every way, to silence their preaching, 
and if possible to expel them from their territories. 

Such men had the defects of their qualities. Their 
zeal often outran their discretion. When Farel and 
Froment, the most daring and devoted of his band, were 
preaching at a village in the vale of Yallingin, a priest 
began to chant the Mass beside them. As the priest 
elevated the Host, Froment seized it and, turning towards 
the people, said, ** This is not the God to adore ; He is in 
the Heaven in the glory of the Father, not in the hands 
of the priests as you believe, and as they teach." There 
was a riot, of course, but the preachers escaped. Next 
day, however, as they were passing a solitary place, they 
were assailed by a crowd of men and women, stoned and 
beaten with clubs, then hurried away to a neighbouring 
castle whose chatelaine had instigated the attack. There 
they were thrust violently into the chapel, and the crowd 
tried to make Farel prostrate himself before an image of 
the Blessed Virgin. He resisted, admonishing them to 
adore the one God in spirit and in truth, not dumb images 
without sense or power. The crowd beat him to the 
effusion of blood, and the two preachers were dragged to a 
vault, where they were imprisoned until rescued by the 
authorities of Neuch&teL^ 

These preachers were all Frenchmen or French-Swiss. 
They had the hot Celtic blood in their veins, and their 
hearers were their kith and kin — prompt to act, impetu- 
ous when their i)a88ions were stirred. Scenes occurred at 
their preaching which we seldom hear of among slower 
Germans, who generally waited until their authorities led. 
In western Switzerland the audiences were eager to get 
rid of the idolatries denounced. At Grandson, the people 
rushed to the church of the Cordeliers, and tore down the 
altars and images, while the crosses, altars, and images 

' Herminjard, Correaponda/nee, eto. ii. 270 ». 


of the {Murish church were also destroyed^ Similar tumults 
took place at Orbe ; and the authorities at Bern, who desired 
to see liberty for both Protestants and Bomanists, had 
occasion to rebuke the zealous preachera 

But the dangers which the misdoners ran were not 
always of their own provoking. Sometimes a crowd of 
women invaded the churches in which they preached, in- 
terrupted the services with shoutings, hustled and beat the 
preachers ; sometimes when they addressed the people in 
the market-place the preachers and their audience were 
assailed with showers of stones ; sometimes Farel and his 
companions were laid wait for and maltreated.' M. de 
Watteville, sent down by the authorities of Bern to report 
on disturbances, wrote to the Council of Bern that the 
faces of the preachers were so torn that it looked aa if 
they had been fighting with cats, and that on one occasion 
the alarm-bell had been sounded against them, as was the 
custom for a wolf -hunt.* 

No dangers daunted the missioners, and soon the whole 
of the outlying districts of Bern, Neuch5,tel, Soleure, and 
other French-speaking portions of Switzerland declared for 
the [Reformation. The cantonal authorities frequently sent 
down commissioners to ascertain the wishes of the people ; 
and when the majority of the inhabitants voted for the 
Evangelical religion, the church, parsonage, and stipend were 
given to a Protestant pastor. Many of Farel's missioners 
were temporarily settled in these village churches ; but they 
were for the most part better fitted for pioneer work than 
for a settled pastorate. In January (9— 14th) 1532, a ' 
synod of these Protestant pastors was held at Bern to 
deliberate on some uniform ways of exercising their 
ministry to prevent disorders arising from individual 
caprice. Two hundred and thirty ministers were present, 
and Bucer was brought from Strassburg to give . them 
guidance. His advice was greatly appreciated and 

^ Hermiigard, Corretporidaneef eta ii. 866 n., 890. 
« Ibid, il 847, 872. 
*7Ki.u. 86211. 


followed by the delegates of the churches and the Council 
of Bern. The Synod in the end issued an elaborate ordin- 
ance, which included a lengthy exposition of doctrine ^ 

§ 3. Fard in Chmmu^ 

It was after this consolidation of the Beformation in 
Bern and its outlying provinces that Farel found himself 
free to turn his attention to Geneva. He had evidently 
been thinking for months about the possibility of evan- 
gelising the town. He had little fear of the people them- 
selves, and he wrote to Zwingli (Oct. 1st, 1531) that were 
it not for the dread of Freiburg, he believed that the 
Genevese would welcome the Gospel' The affair of the 
" placards '' seems to have decided him to begin his mission 
in the city. When he was driven out he was far from 
abandoning the enterprisa He turned to Froment, his 
most trusted assiststnt, and sent him into Geneva. 

Antoine Froment, who has the honour along with 
Farel of being the Beformer of Geneva, was born at Tries, 
near Grenoble, about 1510. He was therefore, like Farel, 
a native of Dauphin^. Like him, also, he had gone to 
Paris for his education, and had become acquainted with 
Lef^vre, who seems to have introduced him to Marguerite 
d'AngouISme, the Queen of Navarre,' as he received from 
her a prebend in a canonry on one of her estatea How 

^ The ordinance waa entitled, Ordnung Vfie sieh pfarrer undprtdiger zu 
StaU und Land Bern, in leer und leben, hcUten aollen, mil wytertm beriehi 
von ChriitOf und den Sacramenien, hetckloseen im Sjpwdo dasellut vereamUt 
am 9 tag Januarij — Anno 16S£, The doctrinal deciaiona of the Synod are 
to be found in MttUer, Bekennlnisechriften der rrformierten Kirehe (Leipzig, 
1903), pp. 81 /. 

' Hermiioard, OorreApcndanoe^ etc. ii. 864. 

' Froment married (1529) Marie Denti^re, who had been abbeaa of a oon- 
▼ent in'Tourniiy, and had been expelled for her Evangelieal opinions. She 
was a learned lady, a friend of the Queen of Navarre, who sometimes 
preached, according to the nun Jeanne de Jussie, and made many converts. 
She wrote a piquant epistle to the Queen of Navarre, exposing the intrigues 
which drove Calvin, Farel, and Coraut from Geneva. A portion of this 
very rare EpisUe is printed by Herminjard, Correepondancef etc. v. 295 jf. 


he oame to Switzerland is unknown. Once there and in- 
troduced to Farel, he became his most daring and enthusi- 
astic disciple, and Farel prized him above all the others. 
They were Paul and Timothy. It was natural that Farel 
should entrust him with the difficult and dangerous task of 
preaching the Gospel in Geneva. 

FareFs seizure and expulsion made it necessary to 
proceed with caution. Froment entered Geneva (Nov. 3rd, 
1532), and began his work by intimating by public 
advertisement (placard) that he was ready to teach any 
one who wished to learn to read and write the French 
language, and that he would charge no fees if his pupils 
were not able to profit by his instructions. Scholars 
cama^ He managed to mingle Evangelical instruction 
with his lessons, — ** every day one or two sermons from the 
Holy Scripture," he says, — and soon made many converts, 
especially among the wives of influential citizens. Towards 
the end of 1532, the monks of one of the convents in 
Geneva had brought to the city a Dominican, Christopher 
Bocquet, to be their Advent preacher. His sermons seem 
to have been largely Evangelical, and had the effect of in- 
ducing many of the citizens to attend Froment's discourses 
in the hall where he kept his school' This provoked 
threats on the part of the Romanists, and strongly worded 
sermons from the priests and Bomanist orators. One 
citizen, convicted of having spoken disrespectfully of the 
Mass, was banished, and forbidden to return on pain of 
death. On this the Evangelicals of the town appealed to 
Bern. Their letter was promptly answered by a demand 
on the part of the Council of that canton that the Evan- 
gelicals must be left in peace, and if attacked publicly 
must be allowed to answer in as public a fashion.' When 
their letter was read in the Council of Geneva, it provoked 

' Froment, Les Aetes et gesUs marveiUeux de la cUi de Oenhie (ed. of 
1S54 by G. ReWUod), pp. 9 and 12-15. 

* The authorities of Freiburg in a letter to Geneva actually called thiB 
Dominican monk a " Lutheran preacher " ; of. their letter given in Hermin- 
jard, Oorrespondanee, iii 15/. 

•Ibid, iu. 88/. 


some protests from the more ardently Bomanist members, 
and the priests stirred up part of the population to riotous 
proceedings, in which the lives of the Evangelicals were 
threatened. The Syndics and Council had difficulty in 
preventing conflicts in the street& They published a 
decree (March 30th, 1533), in which they practically pro- 
claimed liberty of conscience, but forbade all insulting 
expressions, all attacks on the Sacraments or on the 
ecclesiastical fasts and ceremonies, and again ordered 
preachers to say nothing which could not be proved from 
Holy Scripture.* 

The numbers of the Evangelicals increased daily ; they 
became bolder, and on the 1 0th of April they met in a garden, 
under the presidency of Gu^rin Muete, a hosier, for the 
celebration of the Lord's Supper. This became known to 
the Bomanists, and there was a renewal of the threats 
against the Evangelicals, which came to a head in the liet 
of the 5th of May — a riot which had important conse- 
quence&' It seems that while several citizens, known to 
belong to the Evangelical party, were walking in the square 
before the Cathedral of St. Peter, they were attacked by a 
band of armed priests, and three of them were severely 
wounded. The leader of the band, a turbulent priest named 
Pierre Werly*, who belonged to an old family of Freiburg, 
and was a canon in the cathedral, followed by five or six 
others, rushed down to the broad street Molard, with loud 
shouts. Werly was armed with one of the huge Swiss 
swords. He and his companions attacked the Evangelicals ; 
there was a sharp, short fight ; several persons were wounded 
severely, and Werly, " the captain of the priests," was slain.* 
The affair made a great noise. The Somanists at once pro- 
claimed Werly a martyr, and honoured him with a pompous 
funeral Freiburg insisted that all the Evangelicals who 

^ The text of the decree is given in Hermiigard, iiL 41 fi. 

' Jeanne de Juasie, Le Levain du Calvinisme, p. 58 ; froment, Actet ef 
GeHeSf eto. 48-51. 

' For the affair of Werly, see the letter of the Eyangelicals of Geneva tu 
tie Council of Bern, given in Henniigard, Correspondance, etc., and the 
notes of the editor (iii. i6ff,). 


happened to be in the Molard shonld be arrested ; and it 
was said that preparations were being made for a massacre 
of all the followers of the Beformation. In their extremity 
they again appealed to Bern, whose authorities again inter- 
fered for their protection. 

During these troublesome times the position of the 
Council of Geneva was one of great difficulty. The Prince- 
Bishop of Geneva, Pierre de la Baume, was still nominally 
sovereign, secular as well as ecclesiastical ruler. His 
secular powers had been greatly curtailed, how much it is 
difficult to say, but certainly to the extent that the criminal 
administration of the city and the territory subject to it was 
in the hands of the Council and Syndica Freiburg, one of 
the two protecting cantons, insisted that all the ecclesi- 
astical authority was stiU in the hands of the Bishop, to be 
administered in his absence by his vicar.^ The Councils, 
altiiough they had passed decrees (June 30th, 1532, and 
March 30th, 1533) which had distinctly to do with ecclesi- 
astical matters, acknowledged for the most part that the 
ecclesiastical jurisdiction did not belong to them. But the 
whole of the inhabitants were not contented with this 
diminution of the episcopal authority. Turbulent priests 
and the yet more violent canons,' the great body of monks 
and nuns, wished, and intrigued for the restotation of the 
rule of the Bishop and of the House of Savoy. The begin- 
nings of a movement for Beformation had increased the 
difficulties of the Council; it brought a third party into 
the town. The Evangelieals were all strongly opposed to 
the rule of the Bishop and Savoy, and they were fast grow- 
ing in strength ; a powerful minority of Soman Catholics 

^ After the defeat of bis party by tbe oombined efforts of Freibmf; and 
Bern, tbe Bisbop bad quitted Geneva on August Ist, 1527 ; be returned tbere 
on July Ist, 1538, but left again after a fortnigbt's residence (July 14tb, 
1588), disgusted, be said, at an act of iconoclasm. 

* Tbe priests of Geneva were notoriously turbulent. We read of at least 
five riots wbicb tbey beaded. The canons were worse. Pierre Werly bad 
attempted tbe assassination of Farel on October 8rd, 1582 (Jeanne de Jussie, 
Lt Zevaindu CkUvinisme^ p. 50) ; he bad taken an actfve part m tbe riots 
caused by tbe placards in 1582. 


were no less strongly in feivour of a return to the old con- 
dition. The majority of the Soman Catholic citizens, 
opposed to the Bishop as a secular ruler, had no desire 
for the triumph of the Beformation. As time went on, it 
was seen that these moderate Bomanists had to choose 
between a return of the old disorderly rule of the Bishop, 
or to acquiesce in the ecclesiastical as well as the secular 
superiority of the Council, pressed by the Protestant canton 
of Bern. The Savoyard party evidently believed that their 
hatred of the Beformation would be stronger than their 
dislike to the Savoyard and episcopal rule — a mistaken 
belief, as events were to show. 

.. The policy of Bern, wherever its influence prevailed in 
western Switzerland, was exerted to secure toleration for all 
Evangelicals, and to procure, if possible, a public discussion 
on matters of religion between the Bomanists and leading 
Beformers. They pressed this over and over again on their 
allies of Geneva. As early as April 1533, they had in- 
sisted that a monk who had ofifered to refute Farel should 
be kept to his word, and that the Council of Geneva should 
arrange for a Public Disputation.^ Towards the close of 
the year an event occurred which gave them a pretext for 
decisive interference. 

Guy Furbiti, a renowned Boman Catholic preacher, a 
learned theologian, a doctor of 'the Sorbonne, had been 
broi^ht to Geneva to be Advent preacher. He used the 
occasion to denounce vigorously the doctrines of the Evan- 
gelicals, supporting his statements, as he afterwards confessed, 
not from Scripture, but from the Decretals and from the 
writings of Thomas Aquinas. He ended his sermon (Dec. 
2nd) with the words : " Where are those fine preachers of 
the fireside, who say the opposite ? If they showed them- 
selves here one could speak to them. Ha ! ha ! they are 
well to hide themselves in comers to deceive poor women 
and others who know nothing." 

After the sermon, either in church or in the square 
before the cathedral, Froment cried to the crowd, " Hear 

1 Hermii^ard, Corre^muUmce, etc. iii. 88, 


me I I am ready to give my life, and my body to be 
burned, to maintain that what that man has said is nothing 
but falsehood and the words of Antichrist." There was a 
great commotion. Some shouted, " To the fire with him I 
to the fire I " and tried to seize him. The chronicler nun, 
Jeanne de Jussie, proud of her sex, relates that " les femmes 
comme enrag^es sortirent apr&s, de grande furie, luy jettant 
force pierres." ^ He escaped from them. But Alexandre 
Ganos was banished, and forbidden to return under pain of 
death ; and Froment was hunted from house to house, until 
he found a hiding-place in a hay-loft. Furbiti had per- 
mitted himself to attack with strong invectives the authori- 
ties of Bern, and the Evangelicals of Geneva in their appcf^l 
for protection sent extracts from the sermons.' Bern had 
at last the opportunity for which its Council had long 

They wrote a dignified letter (Deo. 17th, 1633) to the 
Council of Geneva, in which they complained that the 
Greneveee, their allies, had hitherto paid little attention to 
their requests for a favourable treatment of the Evangelicals ; 
that they had expelled from the town "nostre serviteur 
maistre Guillaume Farel " ; not content with that, they had 
recently misused their *' servants " Froment and Alexandre 
for protesting against the sermons of a Jacobin monk 
(Furbiti) who " preached only hes, errors, and blasphemies 
against Grod, the faith, and oui-selves, wounding our honour, 
calling us Jews, Turks, and dogs''; that the banishment 
of Alexandre and the hunting of Froment touched them 
(the Council of Bern), and that they would not sufiTer it. 

' Le Zevain du CalvinUme, pp. 74, 75, 247 (where Oanns is called Alexander 
de Molendino). Froment, who had been compelled to quit Geneva, had re- 
tomed to the town along with Alexandre Ganos immediately after the 
departure of the Bishop on the 14th of July 1588. 

* Furbiti permitted himself to use strong language. Even the Romanist 
chronicler, the nun Jeanne de Jussie, records that Furbiti ''touched to the 
quick the Lutheran dogs," and aaid that "all those who belonged to that 
cursed sect were licentious, gluttons, lascivious, ambitions, homicides, and 
bandits, who loved nothing but sensuality, and lived as the brutes, reveren- 
cing Qcither pod |ior their superiors " (Xe Levain du CcUviniame, p. 79). 


They demanded the immediate arrest of the '* caffard " ' 
(Furbiti); and they said they were about to send an 
embassy to Geneva to vindicate publicly the honour of God 
and their own.' 

As the Council of Bern meant to enforce a Public 
Disputation, they sent Farel to Geneva. He reached the 
city on the evening of December 20tL 

The letter was read to the Council of Greneva upon Dec. 
21st, and they at once gave orders to the vicar to prevent 
Furbiti leaving the town. But the vicar, who had resolved 
to try his strength against Bern, refused, and actually 
published two mandates (Dec. 31st, 1533, and Jan« 1st, 
1634) denouncing the Genevese Syndics, forbidding any of 
the citizens to read the Holy Scriptures, and ordering all 
copies of translations of the Bible, whether in German or in 
French, to be seized and burnt.' The dispute between 
Syndics and vicar was signalised by riots promoted by the 
extreme Bomanist party. The Council, anxious not to pro- 
ceed to extremities, contented themselves with placing a 
guard to watch Furbiti ; and the monk was attended con- 
tinually, even when he went to and from the church, by a 
guard of three halberdiers. 

The Bernese embassy arrived on the 4th of January, 
and had prolonged audience of the Council of Geneva on 
the 5 th and 7 th. They insisted on a fair treatment for 
the Evangelical party, which meant freedom of conscience 
and the right of public worship, and they demanded that 
Furbiti should be compelled to Justify his charges against 
the Evangelicals in the presence of learned men who could 
speak for the Council of Bern. The Genevan authorities 
bad no wish to break irrevocably with their Bishop, nor to 
coerce the ecclesiastical authorities; they pleaded that 
Furbiti was not under their jurisdiction, and they referred 

^ Caffard need not be taken to mean hypocriU : it was commonly used to 
denote a mendicant friar. 

' The letter is given in Herminjard, CorrupondcMUf eto. iii. 119/. 

' The MS. chronicle of Michel Boeet is the soorce ibr the statement about 
the order to barn translations of the Scripture. 


the Bernese deputies to the Bishop or his vicar. ** We 
have been ordered to apply to you/' said the deputies from 
Bern. " Your answer makes us see that you seek delay, 
and that you are not treating us fairly ; that you think little 
of the honour of the Council of Bern. Here is the treaty 
of alliance (they produced the document), and we are about 
to tear off the seal&" This was the formal way among the 
Swiss of cancelling a treaty. The Councillors of Geneva 
then proposed that they should compel the monk to 
appear before them and the deputies of Bern, when 
explanations might be demanded from him. The deputies 
accepted the offer, but on condition that there should be 
a conference between the monk (Furbiti) and theologians 
sent from Bern (Farel and Viret). Next day Furbiti was 
taken from the episcopal palace and placed in the town's 
prison (Jan. 8th), and on the morrow ( Jan. 9th) he was 
brought before the Council There he refused to plead 
before secular judges. The Council of Geneva tried in vain 
to induce the vicar to nominate an ecclesiastical delegate 
who was to sit in the Council and be present at the confer- 
ence. Their n^otiations with the vicar, carried on for 
some days, were in vain. Then they attempted to induce 
the Bernese to depart from their conditions. The Council 
of Bern was immovable. It insisted on the immediate 
payment by the Genevese of the debt due to Bern for the 
war of deliverance and for the punishment of Furbiti (Jan. 
25th, 1534). Driven to the wall, the Council of Geneva 
resolved to override the ecclesiastical authority of the 
Bishop and his vicar. Furbiti was compelled to appear 
before the Council and the deputies of Bern, and to answer 
to Farel and Viret on Jan. 27th and Feb. 3rd (1534). 
On the afternoon of the latter day the partisans of the 
Bishop got up another riot, in which one of them poniarded 
an Evangelical, Nicolas Bergier. This riot seems to have 
exhausted the patience of the peaceable citizens of Geneva, 
whether Bomanists or Evangelicals. A band of about five 
hundred assembled armed- before the Town Hall, informed 
the Council that they would no longer tolerate riots caused 


\>j turbulent priests, and that they were ready to support 
civic authority and put down lawlessness with a strong 
hand. The Council thereupon acted energetically. That 
night the murderer, Claude Pennet, who had hid himself in 
the belfry of the cathedral, was dragged from his place of 
concealment, tried next day, and hanged on the day fol- 
lowing (Feb. 5 th). The houses of the principal rioters 
were searched, and letters discovered proving a plot 
to seize the town and deliver it into the hands of the 
Bishop. Pierre de la Baume had gone the length of 
nominating a member of the Council of Freibuig, M. 
Pavillard, to act as his deputy in secular affairs, and ordering 
him to massacre the Evangelicals within the city. 

When the excitement had somewhat died down, the 
deputies of Bern pressed for a renewal of the proceedings 
against Furbiti. The monk was again brought before the 
Council, and confronted by Farel and Viret He was 
forced to confess that he could not prove his assertions 
from the Holy Scriptures, but had based them on the 
Decretals and the writings of Thomas Aquinas, admitting 
that he had transgressed the regulations of the Council of 
Geneva. He promised that, if allowed to preach on the 
following Sunday (Feb. 15 th), he would make public re- 
paration to the Council of Bern. When Sunday came he 
refused to keep his promise, and was sent back to prison.^ 

Meanwhile the Evangelical community in Geneva was 
growing, and .taking organised form. One of the most 
prominent of the Genevan Evangelicals, Jean Baudichon de 
la Maisonneuve, prepared a hall by removing a partition 
between two rooms in his magnificent house, situated in 
that part of the city which was the cradle of the Beforma- 

*■ Fnrbiti was releMedin April 1686 at the request of Franots I. of France 
He was ezohanged for Antokie Saunier, a Swiss Evangelical in prison in 
France. 6ach exchanges were not uncommon between the Protestant 
cantons and France. — Hermi^jard, Correspondanee, eto. iii. 896/. 

A fiill account of the conferences between Farel and Furbiti is given in 
LeUres certaines d^av/MnB grandz troubles et Htn^Us nux A Oeniim, 
ofloec la ditptUttiion/aide fan 16S4, eto. (Basel, Ifi8)). Tha booklet is wrj 


tion in Geneva. There Farel, Viret, and Froment preached 
to three or four hundred persons; and there the first 
baptism according to the Beformed rite was celebrated in 
Greneva (Feb. 22nd, 1533). The audiences soon increased 
beyond the capacity of the hall, and the Evangelicals, pro- 
tected by the presence of the Bernese deputies, took posses- 
sion of the large audience hall or church of the Convent 
of the Cordeliers in the same street (March 1st). The 
deputies from Bern frequently asked the Council of Geneva 
to grant the use of one of the churches of the town for the 
Evangelicals, but were continually answered that the 
Council had not the power, but that they would not object 
if the Evangelicals found a suitable place. This indirect 
authorisation enabled them to meet in the convent church, 
which held between four and five thousand people, and 
which was frequently filled. Thus the little band increased. 
Farel preached for the first time in St. Peter's on the 8th 
of August 1535. Services were held in other houses 

The Bishop of Geneva, foiled in his attempt to regain 
possession of the town by well-planned riots, united him- 
self with the Duke of Savoy to conquer the city by force 
of arms. Their combined forces advanced against Geneva ; 
they overran the country, seized and pillaged the country 
houses of the citizens, and subjected the town itself to a 

^ Adjoining the houBe of Baudichon, with onebailding between them, was 
a large mansion occupied by the Seigneur de Thoren8,'a strong partisan of 
the Reformation. He was a Savoyard, expelled from his country because of 
his religious principles. He acquired citizenship in Bern. The Bernese, on 
the eve of their embassy, which reached Geneva on Jan. 4th, had bought this 
house, and placed M. de Thorens therein, intending it to be a place where 
the Evangelicals could meet in safety uuder the protection of Bern. It is prob- 
able that in time of special danger the Evangelicals met there for public 
worship. When the Council of Freiburg objected to Farel's preaching, the 
Council of Geneva repUed that the services were held in the house of the 
deputies of Bern. Cf. Herminjard, Correspcndancef etc. ix. 459/., 489/. ; 
Jeanne de Jussie, Le Levain du Calvinisme^ pp. 91,106, 107 (where the poor 
nun describes the various ceremonies of the Reformed cult with all the venom 
and coarseness of sixteenth century Romanism) ; Baum, Prods de Baudichon 
de la Maisonneuve aceusd d^lUritU a Lyon, 16S4 (Geneva, 1878), pp. 110, 
111 ; Doumergue, Jean Calvin, ii. 126/., iii. 196-98. 


dose inveBtment. The war was a grievous matter for the 
city, but it furthered the Beformatiou. The Bishop had 
leagued himself with the old enemy of Geneva ; the priests, 
the monks, the nuns were eager for his success ; he com- 
pelled patriotic Boman Catholics to choose between their 
religion and their country. It was also a means of dis- 
playing the heroism of the Protestant pastors. Farel and 
Froment were high-spirited Frenchmen, who scoffed at 
any danger Ijdng in the path of duty. They had braved a 
thousand perils in their missionary work. Viret was not 
less courageous. The three worked on the fortifications with 
the citizens ; they shared the watches of the defenders ; 
they encouraged the citizens by word and deed. The 
Genevese were prepared for any sacrifices to preserve their 
liberties. Four faubourgs, which formed a second town 
almost as large as the first, were ordered to be demolished 
to strengthen the defence. The city was reduced to great 
straits, and the citizens of Bern seemed to be deaf to 
their cries for help. 

Bern was doing its best by embassies to assist them ; 
but it dared not attack the Pays de Vaud when Freiburg, 
angry at the process of the Beformation, threatened a 
counter attack. After the siege was raised, the strongholds 
in the surrounding Qountry remained in the possession of 
the enemy, and the people belonging to Geneva were 
liable to be pillaged and maltreated. 

Within the city the number of Evangelicals increased 
week by week. Then came a sensational event which 
brought about the ruin of the Boman Catholic party. A 
woman, Antoina Vax, cook in the house of Claude Bernard, 
with whom the three pastors dwelt, attempted to poison 
Viret, Farel, and Froment* The confession of the prisoner, 

^ The poison was placed in some spinach soup, and the popular story was 
that Farel escaped because he did not like the food ; that Froment had 
seated himself at table to take his share, when news was brought to him 
that his wife and children had arrived at Oeneva — he rose from the table at 
once to go to meet them, and left the soup un tasted. Poor Viret was the 
only one who took his share, and became very ill immediately afterwarda. 
The prisoner's confession, lately exhumed firom the Qeneva arehlTea, tells 


combined with other circumstances, created the impression 
among the members of Council and the people of Oeneva 
that the priests of the town had instigated the attempt, and 
a strong feeling in favour of the Protestant pastors swept 
over the city. The Council at once provided lodging for 
Viret and Farel in the Convent of the Cordeliers. When 
the guardian of that convent asked leave to hold public 
discussions on religious questions in the great church belong- 
ing to the convent, it was at once granted. 

The Council itself made arrangements for the public 
Disputation. Five Thhes ^vangdiquea were drafted by the 
Protestant pastors, and the Council invited discussion upon 
them from all and sundry.^ Invitations were sent to the 
canons of the cathedral, and to all the priests and monks 
of Geneva; safe-conducts were promised to all foreign 
theologians who desired to take part ; * a special attempt 
was made to induce a renowned Paris Boman Catholic 
champion, Pierre Cornu, a theologian trained at the 
Sorbonne, who happened to be at Orenoble, to defend the 
Bomanist position by attacking the Theses. The Theses 
themselves were posted up in Geneva as early as the 1st of 
May (1535), and copies were sent to all the priests and 
convents within the territories of the Genevana' 

The Disputation was fixed to open on the 30th of May. 
The Council nominated eight commissioners, half of whom 
were Boman Catholics, to maintain order, and four secre- 
taries tp keep minutes of the proceedings.^ Efforts were 
made to induce Boman Catholic theologians of repute for 
their learning to attend and attack the Theses. But the 
Bishop of (jeneva had forbidden the Disputation, and the 

•Bother tale. The woman eaid that she staffed a small bone with the 
poieon, and placed it in Yiret's bowl ; but was afraid to do the same to 
Fsrel's because his soup vras too clear. Gf. extracts quoted in Doumergue's 
Jum Calvin, etc. iL 188, 184 n. 

1 The Thues are giren in Rnohat, HiaUwre de la SdfonAcAion de la Svisief 

s Hermii^jard, Camipondance, etc. iii. 294, 296 »• 

* Le Ln^Un du Oaivmisme, p. 118. 

^ HermiigaTd, Oarresp(mdancef etc. iii. 294 ft* 


Council were unable to prevail on any stranger to appear. 
When tbe opening day arrived, and the Council, commiB- 
aioners, and secretaries were solemnly seated in their places 
in the great hall of the convent, no Somanist defender of 
the faith appeared to impugn the Evangelical Theses. Farel 
and Viret nevertheless expounded and defended. The Dis- 
putation continued at intervals during four weeks, till the 
24th of June, Bomanist champions accepted the Befor- 
mers' challenge — Jean Chapms, prior of the Dominican 
convent at Plainpalais, near Geneva, and Jean Cachi, 
confessor to the Sisters of St. Clara in the city. But they 
were no match for men like FareL Chapuis himself 
apologised for the absence of the Genevan priests and 
monks, by saying that even in his convent there was a lack 
of learned men. The weakness of the Bomanist defence 
made a great impression on the people of Geneva. They 
went about saying to each other, '' If all Christian princes 
permitted a free discussion like our MM. of Geneva, the 
affair would soon be settled without burnings, or slaughter, 
or murders ; but the Pope and his followers, the cardinals 
and the bishops and the priests, know well that if free 
discussion is permitted all is lost for them. So all these 
powers forbid any discussion or conversation save by fire 
and by sword." They knew that all throughout Bomance 
Switzerland the Beformers, whether in a minority or in a 
majority, were ec^er for a public discussion. 

When the Disputation was ended, Farel urged the 
Council to declare themselves on the side of the Beforma- 
tion ; but they hesitated until popular tumults forced their 
hand. On July 23 rd, Farel preached in the Church of 
the Madeleine. The Council made mild remonstrances. 
Then he preached in the Church of St. Gervais. Lastly, 
on the 8th of August, the people forced him to preach in 
the Cathedral, St. Peter's (Aug. 8th). In the afternoon 
the priests were at vespers as usual As they chanted the 
Psalm — 

** Their idols are silver and gold, 
The work of men's haudf». 


They haye months, but they speak not: 
Eyes have they, bnt they see not ; 
They have ears, but they hear not; 
Noses have they, but they smell not; 
They have hands, but they handle not; 
Feet have they, but they walk not ; 
Neither speak they through their throaty' 


someone in the throng shouted, " You curse, as you chant, 
all who make graven images* and trust in them. Why do 
you let them remain here?" It was the signal for a 
tumult The crowd rushed to throw to the ground and 
break in pieces the statues of the saints ; and the children 
pushing among the crowd picked up the fragments, and 
rushing to the doors, said, ** We have the gods of the priests, 
would you like some ? " * Next day the riots were renewed 
in the parish cmd convent churches, and the images of the 
saints were de&ced or destroyed. 

The Council met on the 9th, and summoned Farel 
before them. The minutes state that he made an oratio 
magna, ending with the declaration that he and his fellow- 
preachers were willing to submit to death if it could be 
shown that they taught anything contrary to the Holy 
Scriptures. Then, falling on his knees, he poured forth one [ 
of those wonderful prayers which more than anything else 
exhibited the exalted enthusiasm of the great missionary. 
The religious question was discussed next day in the CowrvcU 
of the TuH) Hundred, when it was resolved to abolish the 
Mass provisionally, to summon the monks before the Council, 
and to ask them to give their reasons for maintaining the Mass 
and the worship of the saints. The two Councils resolved 
to inform the people of Bern about what they had dona* 

It is evident that the two Councils had been hurried 
by the iconoclastic zeal of the people along a path they 

^ Froment, AdeB A gettes, etc. pp. 144-146 : "Nous ayons les dienz des 
IVebstres, en yonll^ voiis f et les iectoynt apree oielx " (p. 146). 

* The minute is given in Hermii^ard, Carr&ipondanee, etc. iil. 424 ; and 
the letter of the two Ck>anoi]s written for the information of the Ck>nncils of 
Bern at p. 882. 


had meant to tread in a much more leisurely fashion. The 
political position was full of uncertainties. Their enemies 
were still in the field against them. Bern seemed to be 
unable to assist them. They were ready to w:elcome the 
uitervention of France. It was the fear of increasing their 
external troubles rather than any zeal for the Roman 
Catholic faith that had prevented the Council from espous- 
ing the Beformation immediately after the public Disputa- 
tion. " If we abolish the Mass, image worship, and every- 
thing popish, for one enemy we have now we are sure to 
have an hundred," was their thought.^ 

The official representatives of the Boman Catholic 
religion did not appear to advantage at this crisis of their 
fate. They were in no haste to defend their worship 
before the Council. When they at last appeared (Nov. 
29th, 1535), the monks in the forenoon an4 the secular 
clergy in the afternoon, there was a careless indifference in 
their answers. The Council seem to have referred them to 
FareFs summary of the matters discussed in the public 
Disputation which began on the 30 th of May, and to have 
asked them what they had to say against its conclusions 
and in favour of the Mass and of the adoration of the 
saints.^ The monks one after another (twelve of them 
appeared before the Council) answered monotonously that 
they were unlearned people, who lived as they had been 
taught by their fathers, and did not inquire further. The 
secular clergy, by their spokesman Eoletus de Pane, said 
that they had nothing to do with the Disputation and what 
had been scdd there ; that they had no desire to listen to 
more addresses from Farel ; and that they meant to live as 
their predecessors.' This was the end. The two deputa- 

^ Froment, Ades et gestesy etc. pp. 142-144. 

' The fullest ooDtemporsry aocouDt of these matters is to be found in Uh 
cpuseule iiUdit de Fard ; Le EesumS des aeiea de la DitptUe de lUve de 16S5, 
published in the 22Dd vol. of the Mimoireeet Documents publUes par la SoeUU 
d^Hittoire et Archoeologie de OerUve. It has been reprinted separately. 

' The words used by the spokesman of the secular clergy, among whom 
were the canons of the cathedral, were : "tua non e$te tusUnere taliei, eu/m 
nee eirU miffioiemtee nee eeianL" 


tions of monks and seculars were informed by the Council 
that they must cease saying Mass until further orders were 
given. The Beformation was legally established in Geneva, / 
and the city stood forth with Bern as altogether Protestant.^ 

The dark clouds on the political horizon were rising. 
France seemed about to interfere in favour of Geneva, and 
the fear of France in possession of the "gate of western 
Switzerland" was stronger than reluctance to permit "^ 
Geneva to become a Protestant city. The Council of 
Freiburg promised to allow the Bernese army to march 
through their territory. Bern renounced its alliance with 
Savoy on November 29th, 1535. War was declared on 
January 16th. The army of Bern left its territories, 
gathering reinforcements as it went; for towns like 
Neuville, Neuch4tel, Lausanne, Payeme-^K)ppressed Pro- 
testant communities in Bomance Switzerland — ^felt that tiie 
hour of their liberation was at hand, and their armed 
burghers were eager to strike one good stroke at their 
oppressors under the leadership of the proud republic. 
There was little fighting. The greater part of the Pays de 
Vaud was conquered without striking a blow, and the army 
of the Duke of Savoy and the Bishop of Geneva was dis- 
persed without a battle. A few sieges were needed to 
complete the victory. The great republic, after its fashion, 
had waited till the opportune moment, and then struck 
once and for alL Its decisive victory brought deliverance 
not only to Geneva, but to Lausanne and many other Pro- 
testant municipalities in Bomance Switzerland (Aug. 7th, 
1536). The democracy of Geneva was served heir to the 
seignorial rights of the Bishop, and to the sovereign rights 
of the Duke of Savoy over city and landa Geneva became 
an independent republic under the protectorate of Bern, and 
to some extent dependent on that canton. 

In the month of December 1535, the Syndics and 
Council of Geneva had adopted the legend on the coat of 
arms of the town. Post tenebras Ituc — a device which became 

1 The minate of Counoil is quoted in DoameTgne, J$cm Calvin, eto. ii. 
147, 148. 


very famous, and appeared on its coinage. The resolution 
of the Council of the Two Hundred to abolish the Mass 
and saint worship was oflBcially confirmed by the citizans 
assembled, '' as was the custom, by sound of bell and of 
trumpet" (May 21st, 1536). 

Geneva had gained much. It had won political inde- 
pendence, for which it had been fighting for thirty years, 
modified by its relations to Bem,^ but greater than it had 
ever before enjoyed. The Beformed religion had been 
established, although the fact remained that the Romanist 
partisans had still a good deal of hidden strength. But 
much was still to be done to make the town the citadel of 
the Reformation which it was to become. Its past history 
• had demoralised its people. The rule of dissolute bishops 
and the example of a turbulent and immoral clergy had 
poisoned the morals of the city.' The liberty won might 
easily degenerate into licence, and ominous signs were not 
lacking that this was about to take place. " It is impos- 
sible to deny," says Kampschulte, the Roman Catholic 
biographer of Calvin, " that disorder and demoralisation had 
become threatening in Geneva ; it would have been almost 
a miracle had it not been so." Farel did what he could. 
He founded schools. He organised the hospitals. He 
strove to kindle moral life in the people of his adopted 
city. But his talents and his character fitted him much 
more for pioneer work than for the task which now lay 
before him. 

^ For these relations, of. Durr&nt, Zes RekUiom pctiUques d» Otmhse avu 
Berne et Ue Suieaee, de 16S6 d 1S64 (1894). 

* The (leyout Romanist, Sceur Jeanne de Jassie, testifies, with medieval 
frankness, to the diASolute lives of the Romish clergy : '* H est hien vray que 
lee PrelcUe ct gene dCAgliee paw ee tempa ne gardoient pas hien lewrs voeus et 
eatatf maie gaudiesoient dissolument dee Hans de V^glise tenaaUfemmes en 
lubrieiU et adtUtire^ et guaei tout le peuple estait infect de eest abominahle et 
de estable pichA ': dent eat d scavoir que les pichh du monde abondoieni en toutes 
sortes de gens, qui ineitoient Vire de Dieu d y mettre sa puniHon divine " 
(Le Levain du Calvinismef p. 85 ; of. minutes of the Council of Geneva at 
p. 241). Even the nuns of Geneva, with the exception of the nuns of St. 
Clara, to whom Jeaune de Jussie belonged, were notorioua for theii* oondaot ; 
of. Hermi^jaid, Oarrespondaneef etc v. 849 n. 


Farel was a chivalrous Frenchman, bom among the 
mountains of Dauphin^, whose courage, amounting to reck- 
less daring, won for him the passionate admiration of ^ 
soldiers like Wildermuth,^ and made him volunteer to lead ^ 
any forlorn hope however desperate. He was sympathetic 
to soft-heartedness, yet utterly unable to restrain his tongue ; 
in danger of his life one week because of his violent lan- 
guage, and the next almost adored, by those who would 
have slain him, for the reckless way in which he nursed the 
sick and dying during a visitation of the plague. He was 
the brilliant partisan leader, seeing only what lay before 
his eyes ; incapable of self-restraint ; a learned theologian, 
yet careless in his expression of doctrine, and continually 
liable to misapprehensioa No one was better fitted to\ . 
attack the enemy's strongholds, few less able to hold them 1 
when once poss^eed. He saw, without the faintest trace 
of jealousy — ^the man was too noble — others building on 
the foundations he had laid. It is almost pathetic to see 
that none of the Bomance Swiss churches whose Apostle he 
had been, cared to retain him as their permanent leader. 
In the closing years of his life he went back to his beloved 
France, and ended as he had begun, a pioneer evangelist in 
Lyons, Metz, and elsewhere, — a leader of forlorn hopes, 
carrying within him a perpetual spring and the effervescing 
recklessness of youth. He had early seen that the pioneer 
life which he led was best lived without wife or children, 
and he remained unmarried until his sixty-ninth year. 
Then he met with a poor widow who had lost husband and 
property for religion's sake in Bouen, and had barely escaped 
witli life. He married her because in no other way could 
he find for her a home and protection. 

Geneva needed a man of altogether different mould of 
character to do the work that was now necessary. When 
Farel's anxieties and vexations were at their height, he 

' Ct Wil(1ennuth*B letter to the Council of (he Two Hundred in 
Bern, lelling that Farel was in prison at Payeme: "Would that I had 
twenty Bernese with me, and with the help of God we would not have per 
mitted what has happened " (Henninjard, Carrtvpofndaaxct^ etc. ii. 844). 


learned almost by accident that a difitinguished young 
French scholar, journeying from Ferrara to Basel, driven 
out of his direct course by war, had arrived in Geneva, and 
was staying for a night in the town. This was Calvin. 

§ 4. Calvin : TcnUh and Education, 

Jean Cauvin (latinised into Galvinus) was bom at 
Noyon in Picardy on the 10th of July 1509. He was 
the second son in a family of four sons and two daughters. 
His father, Gerard Cauvin, was a highly esteemed lawyer, 
the confidential legal adviser of the nobility and higher 
clergy of the district. His mother, Jeanne La France, a 
very beautiful woman, was noted for her devout piety and 
her motherly afTection. Calvin, who says little about his 
childhood, relates how he was once taken by his mother on 
the festival of St. Anna to see a relic of the saint preserved 
in the Abbey of Ourscamp, near Noyon, and that he re- 
membera kissing ** part of the body of St. Anna, the mother 
of the Virgin Mary." * 

The Cauvins belonged to what we should call the upper 
middle class in social standing, and the young Jean entered 
the house of the noble family of de Montmor to share the 
education of the children, his father paying for all his 
expenses. The young de Montmors were sent to Collie 
in Paris, and Jean Cauvin, then fourteen years of age, went 
with them. This early social training never left Calvin, 
who was always the reserved, polished French gentleman 
— a striking contrast to his great predecessor Luther. 

Calvin was a Picard, and the characteristics of the 
province were seen in its greatest son. The Picards were 
always independent, frequently strongly anti-clerical, com- 
bining in a singular way fervent enthusiasm and a cold 
tenacity of purpose. No province in France had produced 
so many sympathisers with Wiclif and Hus, and " Picards '' 
was a term met with as frequently on the books of 
Inquisitors as " Wiclifites," " Hussites," or " Waldenses " — 

^ Duuuiergue, J$an Calvin, eto. I. iS^ 


all the names denoting dissenters from the mediseval 
Church who accepted all the articles of the Apostles' Creed 
but were strongly anti-clericaL These " brethren *' liogered 
in all the countries of Western Europe until the sixteenth 
century, and their influence made itself felt in the 
b^innings of the stirrings for reforuL 

Gerard Cauvin had early seen that his second son, 
Jean, was de hon esprit, d^une prompte naturelle d cancevoir, 
€t inventif en Vestude dee lettres humaines,^ and this induced 
him to give the boy as good an education as he could, and 
to destine him for the study of theology. His legal con- 
nection with the higher clergy of Noyon enabled him, in 
the fashion of the day, to procure for his son more than 
one benefice. The boy was tonsured, a portion of the 
revenue was used to pay for a curate who did the work, 
and the rest went to provide for the lad's education. 

Toung Calvin went with the three sons of the de 
Montmor famUy to the College de la Marche in Paris. It 
was not a famous one, but when Calvin studied there in 
the lowest class he had as his professor Mathurin Cordier, 
the ablest teacher of his generation.' His aim was to give 
his pupils a thorough knowledge of the French and Latin 
languages — a foundation on which they might afterwards 
build for themselves. He had a singularly sweet disposi- 
tion, and a very open mind. He was brought to know the 
Gospel by Bobert Estienne, and in 1536 his name was 
inscribed, along with those of Courat and Clement Marot, 
on the list of the principal heretics in Paris. Calvin was 
not permitted to remain long under this esteemed teacher. 
The atmosphere was probably judged to be too liberal for 
one who was destined to study theology. He was trans- 
ferred to the more celebrated Collie de Montaigu. Calvin 
was again fortunate in his principal teachers. He became 

' Donmergae, Jean Cdlviny etc i. 85. 

* Gonlier, Corderitis, Gordery, was a well-known name in ikiottish parish 
sebools a centoiy ago, where his exercises were ased in almost every Latin 
clasB. He became a convert of the Reformed faith, and did his best to spread 
Evangelical doctrines by means of the sentences to be turned into Latin. He 
followed his great ynpU to Geneva, and died there in his eighty-eighth year. 


the pupil of Noel B^da and of Pierre TempSte, who taught 
him the art of formal disputation. 

Calvin had come to Paris in his fourteenth year, and 
left it when he was nineteen — the years when a lad 
becomes a man, and his character is definitely formed. If 
we are to judge by his own future references, no one had 
more formative influence over him than Mathurin Cordier 
— short as had been the period of their familiar inter- 
coursa Calvin had shown a singularly acute mind, and 
proved himself to be a scholar who invariably surpassed 
his fellow students. He was always surrounded by 
attached friends — the three brothers de Montmor, the 
younger members of the famous family of Cop, and many 
others. These student friends were devoted to him all his 
life. Many of them settled with him at Geneva. 

Calvin left the College de Montaigu in 1528. Some- 
time during the same year another celebrated pupil entered 
it. This was Ignatius Loyola. Whether the two great 
leaders attended College together, whether they ever met, 
it is impossible to say — the dates are not precise enough. 

"Perhaps they crossed each other in some street of 
Mount Sainte-6enevi6ve : the young Frenchman of eighteen 
on horseback as usual, and the Spaniard of six and thirty 
on foot, his purse furnished with some pieces of gold he 
owed to charity, shoving before him an ass burdened with 
his books, and carrying in his pocket a manuscript, entitled 
Exerdtia Spirittudia" ^ 

Calvin left Paris because his father had now resolved 
that his son should be a lawyer and not a theologian. 
Gerard Cauvin had quarrelled with the ecclesiastics of 
Noyon, and had even been excommunicated. He refused 
to render his accounts in two executry cases, and had 
remained obstinate. Why he was so, it is impossible to 
say. His children had no diflBculty in arranging matters 
after his death. The quarrel ended the hopes of the father 
to provide well for his son in the Church, and he ordered 

^ Doamergue, Jean Calvin, etc. i. 126. 


him to quit Paris for the great law school at Orleans. It 
is by no means improbable that the father's decision was 
very welcome to the son. B^ze tells us that Calvin had 
already got some idea of the true religion, had begun to 
study the Holy Scriptures, and to separate himself from 
the ceremonies of the Church;^ — ^perhaps his friendship 
with Pierre Robert Oliv^tan, a relation, a native of Noyon, 
and the translator of the Bible into French, had brought 
this about. The young man went to Orleans in the early 
part of 1528 and remained there for a year, then went on 
to Bourges, in order to attend the lectures of the famous 
publicist, Andre Alciat, who was destined to be as great a 
reformer of the study of law as Calvin was of the study 
of theology. In Orleans with its Humanism, and in 
Bourges with its incipient Protestantism, Calvin was placed 
in a position favourable for the growth of ideas which had 
already taken root in his mind. At Bourges he studied 
Greek under Wolmar, a Lutheran in all but the name, and 
dedicated to him long afterwards his GoniTnentary on the 
Second Epistle to the Cori/rvthiana, He seems to have lived 
in the house of Wolmar; another inmate was Theodore 
de B^ze, the future leader of the Protestants of France, 
then a boy of twelve. 

The death of his father (May 26th, 1531) left Calvin 
his own master. He had obeyed the paternal wishes when 
he studied for the Church in Paris; he had obediently 
transferred himself to the study of law ; he now resolved 
to follow the bent of his own mind, and, dedicating himself 
to study, to become a man of letters. He returned to 
Paris and entered the College Fortet, meaning to attend 
the lectures of the Humanist professors whom Francis i., 
under the guidance of Bud^ and Cop, was attracting to his 
capital These "royal lecturers" and their courses of 
instruction were looked on with great suspicion by the 
Sorbonne, and Calvin's conduct in placing himself under 
their instruction showed that he had already emancipated 
himself from that strict devotion to the '* superstitions of 

^ Corpus B^QBrmjoJlarwm^ xlix. p. 121. 


the Papacy " to which he tells us that he was obstinately 
attached in his boyhood. He soon became more than the 
pupil of Bud^, Oop, and other Humanists. He was a friend, 
admitted within the family circle. He studied Greek with 
Pierre Dan^ and Hebrew imder Vatable. In due time 
(April 1532), when barely twenty-three years of age, he 
published at his own expense his first book, a learned 
commentary on the two books of Seneca's De dementia. 

The book is usually referred to as an example of 
precocious erudition. The author shows that he knew as 
minutely as extensively the whole round of classical 
literature accessible to his times. He quotes, and that 
aptly, from fifty-five separate Latin authors — from thirty- 
three separate works of Cicero, from all the works of 
Horace and Ovid, from five comedies of Terence, and 
from all the works of Virgil. He quotes from twenty-two 
separate Greek authors — ^from five or six of the principal 
writings of Aristotle, and from four of the writings of 
Plato and of Plutarch. Calvin does not quote Plautus, but 
his use of the phrase remoram faeere makes it likely that 
he was well acquainted with that writer also.^ The future 
theologian was also acquainted with many of the Fathers 
— with Augustine, Lactantius, Jerome, Synesius, and 
Cyprian. Erasmus had published an edition of Seneca, and 
had advised scholars to write commentaries, and young 
Calvin followed the advice of the Prince of Humanists. 
Did he imitate him in more? Did Calvin also disdain 
to use the New Learning merely to display scholarship, 
did he mean to put it to modem uses ? Francis L was 
busy with one of his sporadic persecutions of the 
Huguenots when the book was published, and learned 
conjectures have been made whether the two facts had any 
designed connection — ^An exhortation addressed to an 
emperor to exercise clemency, and a king engaging in 
persecuting his subjects. Two things seem to show that 

> I owe this inference to my brother, Profeesor Lindsay of St Andrews ; 
he adds that Plautus was greatly studied in the time of Calvin's youth in 


Calvin meant his book a protest against the persecu- 
tion of the French Protestants. His preface is a daring 
attack on the abuses which were connected with the 
administration of justice in the public courts, and he says 
distinctly that he hopes the Commentary will be of service 
to the public.^ 

It seems evident from Calvin's correspondence that he 
had joined the small band of Protestants in Paris, and 
that he was intimate with Gerard Roussel, the Evangelical 
preacher,* the friend of Marguerite of Navarre, of Lef6vre, 
of Farel, and a member of the " group of Meaux." The 
question occurs, When did his conversion take place? 
This has been keenly debated ;' but the arguments concern 
words more than facts, and arise from the various meanings 
attached to the word " conversion " rather than from the 
difficulty of determining the tima Calvin, who very rarely 
reveals the secrets of his own soul, tells in his preface to 
his Commentary an ths Psalms, that God drew him from his 
obetioate attachment to the superstitions of the Papacy 
by a " sudden conversion," and that this took place after 
he had devoted himself to the study of law in obedience 
to the wishes of his father. It does not appear to have 
been such a sudden and complete vision of divine gracious- 
nefls as Luther received in the convent at Erfurt. But it 

1 Of. his letter to FraDcis Daniel, where he speaks abont the publication 
of the Commentary ; says that he has issued it at his own expense ; that some 
of the Paris lecturers, to help its sale, had made it a book on which they 
lectured, and hopes quodptMieo eliam bono forte cessttrum sit (Hermiigard, 
Carrespcndanee, etc. ii. 417). 

* In a letter to Francis Daniel, of date Oct. 27th, 1558, Calvin calls 
Gerard " our Friend " ; and in another, written about the end of the same 
month, he describes with a minuteness of detail impossible for anyone who 
was not in the inner circle, the comedy acted by the students of the College 
of Navarre, which was a satire directed against Marguerite, the Queen of 
Navarre, and Gerard Roussel, and the affair of the connection of the 
University of Paris and the Queen's poem, entitled U Miroir de Fdme 
pSeheresm; cf. Herminjard, Correspondance, etc. iii. 108-11. 

* Lang, Die Bekehrung Johannes CcUrins (1897) ; Doumergue, Jetm 
Calvin^ etc. L 844/. ; M tiller, " Calvins Bekehrung " {Naehrichten der GoU. 
Gel. for 1905, pp. 206/*.) ; Wemle, ** Nocb einmal die Bekehrung Calvins" 
{Zeiisehrift/Ur Kirdtengesehichte, zzviL 84/. (1906)). 


was a beginning. He received then some taste of true 
piety {cdiquo verm pietatis gusto). He was abashed to find, 
he goes on to relate, that barely a year afterwards, those 
who had a desire to learn what pure doctrine was 
gradually ranged themselves around him to learn from 
him who knew so Uttle {me novUium adhuc et tironem). 
This was perhaps at Orleans, but it may have been at 
Bourgea When he returned to Paris to betake himself 
to Humanist studies, he was a Protestant, convinced 
intellectually as well as drawn by the pleadings of 
the heart. He joined the little band who had gathered 
roimd Estienne de la Forge, who met secretly in the 
house of that pious merchant, and listened to the 
addresses of Gerard Roussel. He was frequently called 
upon to expound the Scriptures in the little society; 
and a tradition, which there is no reason to doubt, declares 
that he invariably concluded his discourse with the words, 
'* If God be for us, who can be against us ? " 

He was suddenly compelled to flee from Paris. The 
theologians of the Sorbonne were vehemently opposed to the 
" royal lecturers " who represented the Humanism favoured 
by Margaret, the sister of Francis, and Queen of Navarra 
In their wrath they had dared to attack Margaret's famous 
book, Miroir de Vdme picheresse, and had in consequence 
displeased the Court. Nicolas Cop, the friend of Calvin, 
professor in the College of Sainte Barbe, was Sector of the 
University (1533). He assembled the four faculties, and 
the faculty of medicine disowned the proceedings of the 
theologians. It was the custom for the Rector to deliver 
an address before the University yearly during his term 
of office, and Cop asked his friend Calvin to compose the 
oration.^ Calvin made use of the occasion to write on 
" Christian Philosophy," taking for his motto, "Blessed are 

' For the history of this Discourse written by Calvin and pronounced by 
Ck>p, see E. Doumergue, Jean Calvin ; Les hommes ei les ehoaes cU $on tempt 
(Lansanne, 1899), i. 831/*. ; A. Lang, Die Bekehrung J, Calvina (Leipzig, 
1897), p. 46 jf. For accounts of the attftupts to arrest Kicolas Cop and 
Calvin, see the letter of Francis i. to the Parlement of Paris in Herminjard, 
Correspondanee, etc. iii. 114-118, and tbe editor's notes, also p. 418. 


th$ poor in spirit " (Matt. v. 3). The discourse wa43 an 
eloquent defence of Evangelical truth, in which the author 
borrowed from Erasmus and from Luther, besides adding 
characteristic ideas of his own. The wrath of the 
Sorbonne may be imagined. Two monks were employed 
to accuse the author of heresy before Parlemeniy which 
responded willingly. It called the attention of the King 
to papal Bulls against the Lutheran heresy. Meanwhile 
people discovered that Calvin was the real author, and he 
had to flee from Paris. After wanderings throughout 
France he found refuge in Basel (1535). 

It was there that he finished his QhristiancB Religionis 
IiMtUutiOy which had for its preface the celebrated letter 
addressed to Francis i. King of France. The book was 
the strongest weapon Protestantism had yet forged 
against the Papacy, and the letter *' a bold proclamation, 
solemnly made by a young man of six-and-twenty, who, 
more or less unconsciously, assumed the command of 
Protestantism against its enemies, calumniators, and 
persecutors." News had reached Basel that Francis, 
who was seeking the alliance of the German Lutheran 
Princes, and was posing as protector of the German 
Protestants, had resolved to purge his kingdom of the so- 
called heresy, and was persecuting his Protestant subjects. 
This double-dealing gave vigour to Calvin's pen. He 
says in his preface that he wrote the book with two 
distinct purposes. He meant it to prepare and qualify 
students of theology for reading the divine Word, that 
they may have an easy introduction to it, and be able to 
proceed in it without obstruction. He also meant it to be 
a vindication of the teaching of the Beformers against the 
calumnies of their enemies, who had urged the King of 
France to persecute them and drive them from France. 
His dedication was : To His Most Oracious Majesty y Francis^ 
King of France and his sovereign, John Calvin wisheth 
peace and salvation in Christ. Among other things he said : 

" I exhibit my confession to you that you may know the 
nature of that doctrine which is the object of such 


unbounded rage to those madmen who are now disturbing 
jour kingdom with fire and sword. For I shall not be 
afraid to acknowledge that this treatise contains a summary 
of that very doctrine which, according to their clamours, 
deserves to be punished with imprisonment, banishment, 
proscription, and flames, and to be exterminated from the 
face of the earth." 

He meant to state in calm precise fashion what 
Protestants believed ; and he made the statement in such 
a way as to challenge comparison between those beliefs 
and the teaching of the mediaeval Church. He took 
the Apostles' Creed, the venerable symbol of Western 
Christendom, and proceeded to show that when tested by 
this standard the Protestants were truer Catholics than 
the Bomanists. He took this Apostles' Creed, which had 
been recited or sung in the public worship of the Church 
of the West from the earliest times, which differed from 
other creeds in this, that it owed its authority to no 
Council, but sprang directly from the heart of the Church, 
and he made it the basis of his InstittUio. For the 
Institutio is an expansion and exposition of the Apostles' 
Creed, and of the four sentences which it explains Its 
basis is: I believe in Ood the Father; and in His Son 
JesiLS Christ ; and in the Holy Ohost ; and in the Holy 
Catholic Church. The InstUviio is divided into four parts, 
each part expounding one of these fundamental sentences. 
The first part describes God, the Creator, or, as the Creed 
says : " God, the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and 
earth " ; the second, God the Son, the Bedeemer and His 
Redemption; the third, God the Holy Ghost and His 
Means of Grace; the fourth, the Holy Catholic Church, 
its nature and marks. 

This division and arrangement, based on the Apostles' 
Greed, means that Calvin did not think he was expounding 
a new theology or had joined a new Church. The 
theology of the Reformation was the old teaching of the 
Church of Christ, and the doctrinal beliefs of the 
Befonners were those views of truth which were founded 


on the Word of God, and which had been known, or at 
least felt, by pious people all down the generations from 
the earliest centuries. He and his fellow BefoiiDers 
believed and taught the old theology of the earliest creeds, 
made plain and freed from the superstitions which 
mediaeval theologians had borrowed from pagan philosophy 
and practices. 

The first edition of the Tnst'UtUio was published in 
March 1536, in Latin. It was shorter and in many 
ways inferior to the carefully revised editions of 1539 
and 1559. In the later editions the arrangement of 
topics was somewhat altered ; but the fundamental 
doctrine remains unchanged; the author was not a man 
to publish a treatise on theology without carefully weighing 
all that had to be said. In 1541, Calvin printed a French 
edition, which he had translated himself " for the benefit 
of his countrymen." 

After finishing his Institutio (the MS. was completed 
in August 1535, and the printing in March 1536), Calvin, 
under the assumed name of Charles d'Espeville, set forth on 
a short visit to Italy with a companion, Louis du Tillet, 
who caUed himself Louis de Haulmont. He intended to 
visit Ben^e, Duchess of Ferrara, daughter of Louis xxL of 
France, known for her piety and her inclination to the 
Beformed faith. He also wished to see something of Italy. 
After a short sojourn he was returning to Strassburg, with 
the intention of settling there and devoting himself to a 
life of quiet study, when he was accidentally compelled to 
visit Geneva, and his whole plan of life was changed. The 
story can best be told in his own word& He says in the 
preface to his Commentary an the Psalms : 

**Ab the most direct route to Strassburg, to which I then 
intended to retire, was blocked by the wars, I had resolved 
to pass quickly by Geneva, without staying longer than a 
single night in ttuit city. ... A person (Louis du Tillet) 
who has now returned to the Papists discovered me and 
made me \nown to others. Upon this Farel, who burned 
with an extraordinary zeal to advance the Gospel, immedi- 


ately strained every nerve to detain me. After having 
learnt that mj heart was set upon devoting myself to 
private studies, for which 1 wished to keep myself free 
from other pursuits, and finding that he gained nothing by 
entreaties, he proceeded to utter an imprecation, that Grod 
would curse my retirement and the tranquillity of the 
studies which I sought, if I should withdraw and refuse 
assistance when the necessity was so urgent. By this im- 
precation I was so stricken with terror that I desisted from 
the journey which I had undertaken." 

§ 6. Calvin wUh Farel in Oeneva. 

Calvin was twenty-seven years of age and Farel 
twenty years older when they b^an to work together in 
Geneva; and, notwithstanding the disparity in age and 
utter diBsimilarity of character, the two men became 
strongly attached to each other. ** We had one heart and 
one soul," Calvin says. Farel introduced him to the lead- 
ing citizens, who were not much impressed by the reserved, 
frail yoimg foreigner whose services their pastor was so 
anxious to secure. They did not even ask his nama The 
minute of the Council (Sept. 5th, 1536), giving him em- 
ployment and promising him support, runs : " Master 
William Farel stated the need for the lecture begun by 
this Frenchman in St. Peter's." ^ Calvin had declined the 
pastorate; but he had agreed to act as "professor in 
sacred learning to the Church in Geneva (Sacrarum liUra- 
mm in eeclesia Oenevensi professor)." His power was of 
that quiet kind that is scarcely felt till it has gripped and 

He began his work by giving lectures daily in St. 
Peter's on the Epistles of St. Paul They were soon felt 
to be both powerful and attractive. Calvin soon made a 
strong impression on the people of the city. An occasion 

^ " Magister Oulielmui FarelluB proponit sicnti sit neoeasaria ilia leotura 
quam initiayit ille OcUlvs in Sancto Petro. Supplicat advideri de Ulo 
retinendo et sibi alimentando. Super quo fuit advisuni quod advideatar 
de ipsum sabstineDdo " (Henninjard, Correspondanee, etc. iv. 87 «.). 


arose which revealed him in a way that his friends had 
never before known. Bern had conquered the greater part 
of the Fays de Yaud in the late war. Its Council was 
determined to instruct the people of its newly acquired 
territory in Evangelical principles by means of a public 
Disputation, to be held at Lausaxme during the first week 
of October.^ The three hundred and thirty-seven priests 
of the newly conquered lands, the inmates of the thirteen 
abbeys and convents, of the twenty-five priories, of the two 
chapters of canons, were invited to come to Lausanne to 
refute if they could the ten Evangelical Tfieses arranged by 
Farel and Viret' The Council of Bern pledged itself 
that there would be the utmost freedom of debate, not 
only for its own subjects, but " for all comers, to whatever 
land they belonged." Farel insisted on this freedom in his 
own trenchant way: "You may speak here as boldly as 
you please ; our arguments are neither faggot, fire, nor 
sword, prison nor torture ; public executioners are not our 
doctors of divinity. . . . Truth is strong enough to out- 
weigh falsehood ; if you have it, bring it forward." The 
Bomanists were by no means eager to accept the challenge. 
Out of the three hundred and thirty-seven priests invited, 
only one hundred and seventy-four appeared, and of these 
only four attempted to take part Two who had promised 
to discuss did not show themselves. Only ten of the forty 
religious houses sent representatives, and only one of them 
ventured to meet the Evangelicals in argument.^ As at 
Bern in 1528, as at Geneva in May 1535, so here at 
Lausanne in October 1536, the Bomanists showed them- 
selves unable to meet their opponents, and the policy. of 

' For the Disputation at Lausanne, see Henninjard, CarrespoTuhnee, 
etc ly. 86 /. (Letter from Oalvin to F. Daniel, Oct 13th, 1536) ; Corpus 
MrformtUornfHf zzxyii. p. 876 f. ; Buchat, Histoire de la lU/ormtUion de 
la Sui8$$f ToL It. ; Doumergue, Jean CalviUf ii. 214/. 

'The ten Theses are printed in the Carpus ^ormaiorwn, zxzvii, 

' Their names were Jean Mimard, regent of the school in Veyey ; Jacques 
Drogy, yioar of Merges ; Jean Michod, dean of Vevey ; Jean Berilly, vicai 
of Pr^yessin ; and a Dominican monk, de Monbouson. 


Bern in insisting on public Disputations was abundantly 

Farel and Yiret were the Protestant champions. Farel 
preached the opening sermon in the cathedral on Oct Ist, and 
closed the conference by another sermon on Oct 8th. The 
discussion began on the Monday, when the huge cathedral 
was thronged by the inhabitants of the city .and of the sur- 
rounding villager In the middle of the church a space 
was reserved for the disputants. There sat the four secre- 
taries, the two presidents, and five commissioners repre- 
senting les Princes Chretiens Messieurs de Berne, distinguished 
by their black doublets and shoulder-knots faced with red, 
and by their broad-brimmed hats ornamented with great 
bunches of feathers, — hats kept stiffly on heads as befiting 
the representatives of such potent lord& 

Calvin had not meant to speak ; Farel and Yiret were 
the orators ; he was only there in attendance. But on the 
Thursday, when the question of the BeaJ Presence was dis- 
cussed, one of the Bomanists read a carefully prepared 
paper, in the course of which he said that the Protestants 
despised and neglected the ancient Fathers, fearing their 
authority, which was against their views. Then Calvin 
rosa He began with the sarcastic remark that the 
people who reverenced the Fathers might spend some 
little time in turning over their pages before they spoke 
about them. He quoted from one Father after another, — 
" Cyprian, discussing the subject now under review in the 
third epistle of his second book of Epistles, says . . . 
Tertullian, refuting the error of Marcion, says . . . The 
author of some imperfect commentaries on St Matthew, 
which some have attributed to St John Chrysostom, in the 
11th homily about the middle, says ... St Augustine, in 
his 23rd Epistle, near the end, says . . . Augustine, in one 
of his homilies on St. John's Gospel, the 8th or the 9th, I 
am not sure at this moment which, says . . ." ; ^ and so on. 
He knew the ancient Fathers as no one else in the century. 
He had not taken their opinions second-hand from Peter 

^ Carpus lU/orfMUarum, xzzvii. 879-Sl. 


of Lombardy's SententuB as did most of the Schoolmen and 
contemporary Bomanist theologians. It was the first time 
that he displayed, almost accidentally, his marvellous pat- 
ristic knowledge, — a knowledge for which Melanchthon 
could never sufficiently admire him. 

But in Greneva the need of the hour was organisation 
and familiar instruction, and Calvin set himself to work at 
once. He has told us how he felt *' When I came first 
to this church," he said, " there was almost nothing. Ser- 
mons were preached ; ^ the idols had been sought out and 
burned, but there was no other reformation; everything 
was in disorder." * In the second week of January he had 
prepared a draft of the reforms he wished introduced. It 
was presented to the SmaU Council by Farel ; the members 
had considered it, and were able to transmit it with their 
opinion to the Council qf the Tuw Hundred on January 
15th, 1537. It forms the basis of all Calvin's ecclesi- 
astical work in Geneva, and deserves study. 

The memorandum treats of four things, and four only 
— the Holy Supper of our Lord {la Saincte Cine de Nostre 
Seigneur), smging in public worship, the religious instruc- 
tion of children, and marriage. 

In every rightly ordered church, it is said, the Holy 
Supper ought to be celebrated frequently, and well 
attended. It ought to be dispensed every Lord's Day 
at least;' such was the practice in the Apostolic Church, 
and ought to be ours ; the celebration is a great comfort 
to all believers, for in it they are made partakers of the 
Body and Blood of Jesus, of His death, of His life, of His 

^ Wherever Farel went he had instituted what was called the "congre- 
gation ** : once a week in church, members of the audience were invited to 
ask questions, which the preacher answered. These *' congregations " were 
an institution all over Romance Switzerland. The custom prevailed in 
Geneva when Oalvin came there, and it was continued. 

' Bonnet, LeUre$fran^iMS de CaZvin^ ii 574. 

"*I1 seroyt bien k d^irer que la communication de la Saincte O&ne de 
J^SDCiist fust tons les dimenches pour le moins en usage, quant I'^glise est 
assemble en multitude" [Corpus Beformaiorumf xxxviii. i. 7); cf. the first 
edition of the ImtUutio (1586) : "Singulis, ad niiuimum, hebdomadibua 
proponenda erat ohristiatiorum cestui mensa Domini " 


Spirit, and of all His benefits But the present weakness 
of the people makes it undesirable to introduce so 
sweeping a change, and therefore . it is proposed that the 
Holy Supper be celebrated once each month '' in one of 
the three places where sermons are now delivered — in the 
churches of St. Peter, St. Oervais, and de Biva" The 
celebration, however, ought to be for the whole Church of 
Geneva, and not simply for those living in the quarters 
of the town where these churches are. Thus every one 
will have the opportunity of monthly communion. But 
if imworthy partakers approach the Table of the Lord, 
the Holy Supper will be soiled and contaminated. To 
prevent this, the Lord has placed the discipline de 
Fexcammunicatian within His Church in order to maintain 
its purity, and this ought to be used. Perhaps the best 
way of exercising it is to appoint men of known worth, 
dwelling in different quarters of the town, who ought to 
be trusted to watch and report to the ministers all in their 
neighbourhood who despise Christ Jesus by living in open 
sin. The ministers ought to warn all such persons not 
to come to the Holy Supper, and the discipline of ex- 
communication only begins when such warnings are 

Congregational singing of Psalms ought to be part of 
the public worship of the Church of Christ; for Psalms 
sung in this way are really public prayers, and when they 
are sung hearts are moved and worshippers are incited to 
form similar prayers for themselves, and to render to God 
the like praises with the same loving loyalty. But as all 
this is unusual, and the people need to be trained, it may 
be well to select children, to teach them to sing in a clear 
and distinct fashion in the congregation, and if the people 
listen with all attention and follow " with the heart what 
is sung by the mouth," they will, " little by little, become 
accustomed to sing together " as a congregation.^ 

> Cftlvin aaya : **Ced «mm ehoae Hen expAiienU d Vidifioatum de Veaglim, 
de eharUer aideungs peeavmee en forme d'orayaone jmblieqe," The trausia- 
tions of the Psalms by Clement Marot, which were al'terwarda used in tht 


It IB most importaDt for the due preservation of 
purity of doctrine that children from their youth should 
be instructed how to give a reason for their faith, and 
therefore some simple catechism or confession of faith 
ought to be prepared and taught to the children. At 
"certain seasons of the year" the children ought to be 
brought before the pastors, who should examine them and 
expound the teachings of the catechism. 

The ordinance of marriage has been disfigured by the 
evil and unscriptural laws of the Papacy, and it were well 
that the whole matter be carefully thought over and some 
simple rules laid down agreeable to the Word of God. 

This memorandum, for it is scarcely more, was 
dignified with the name of the Articles (Articuli de 
reffimine ecdesuB), It was generally approved by the 
Small Council and the Council of Two Hundredy who made, 
besides, the definite regulations that the Holy Supper 
should be celebrated four times in the year, and that 
announcements of marriages should be made for three 
successive Sundays before celebration. But it is very 
doubtful whether the Council went beyond this general 
approval, or that they gave definite and deliberate 
consent to Calvin's proposals about "the discipline of 

These ArtieUs were superseded by the famous 
Ordonnan4:es eccUsieutiques de VJ^glise de Oen^ve^ adopted on 
Nov. 20th, 1541 ; but as they are the first instance in 
which Calvin publicly presented his special ideas about 
ecclesiastical government, it may be well to describe what 
these were. To understand them aright, to see the new 
thing which Calvin tried to introduce into the Church life 
of the sixteenth century, it is necessary to distinguish 
between two things which it must be confessed were 

Church of Geneva, were not published till 1541, and the pdeaumea may have 
been religious canticles such as were used in the Reformed Church of 
Nencli&tel from 1588 ; but it ought to be remembered that translations of 
the I'salius of David did exist in France before Marot's ; ot Hermii^ard, 
CoirupondofMe, iv. 168 ft. 


practically entangled with each other in these days — the 
attempt to regulate the private life by laws municipal 
or national, and the endeavour to preserve the soleomity 
and purity of the celebration of the Holy Supper. 

When historians, ecclesiastical or other, charge Calvin 
with attempting the former, they forget that there was 
no need for him to do so. Geneva, like every other 
mediaeval town, had its laws which interfered with private 
life at eveiy turn, and that in a way which to our 
modem minds seems the grossest tyranny, but which 
was then a commonplace of city life. Every mediaeval 
town had its laws against extravagance in dress, in eating 
and in drinking, against cursing and swearing, against 
gaming, dances, and masquerades. They prescribed the 
number of guests to be invited to weddmgs, and dinners, 
and dances; when the pipers were to play, when they 
were to leave off, and what they were to be paid. It 
must be confessed that when one turns over the pages 
of town chronicles, or reads such a book as Baader's 
NUrriberger Folizeiordnung, the thought cannot help arising 
that the Civic Fathers, like some modem law-makers, were 
content to place stringent regulations on the statute-book, 
and then, exhausted by their moral endeavour, had no 
energy left to put them into practice. But every now 
and then a righteous fit seized them, and maid-servants 
were summoned before the Council for wearing silk aprons, 
or fathers for giving too luxurious wedding feasts, or 
citizens for working on a Church festival, or a mother 
for adorning her daughter too gaily for her marriage. 
The citizens of every mediaeval town lived under a 
mimicipal discipline which we would pronounce to be 
vexatious and despotic. Every instance quoted by modem 
historians to prove, as they think, Calvin's despotic inter- 
ference with the details of private life, can be paralleled 
by references to the police-books of mediaeval towns in the 
fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. To make them ground of 
accusation against Calvin is simply to plead ignorance of 
the whole municipal police of the later Middle Ages. To 


say that Calvin acquiesced in or approved of such legisla- 
tion is simply to show that he belonged to the sixteenth 
century. When towns adopted the Seformation, the spirit 
of civic legislation did not change, but some old regulations 
were allowed to lapse, and fresh ones suggested by the new 
ideas took their place. There was nothing novel in the 
law which Bern made for the Fays de Vaud in 1536 
(Dec. 24th), prohibiting dancing with the exception of 
"trois danses honetes" at weddings; but it was a new 
r^ulation which prescribed that parents must bring their 
daughters to the marriage altar "le chiefz convert" It 
was not a new thing when Basel in 1530 appointed three 
honourable men (one from the Council and two from the 
commonalty) to watch over the morals of the inhabitants 
of each parish, and report to the Council It was new, 
but quite in the line of mediieval civic legislation, when 
Bern forbade scandalous persons from approaching the 
Lord's Table (1532). 

Calvin's thought moved on another plane. He was 
distinguished among the Beformers for his zeal to i^estore 
again the conditions which had ruled in the Church of the 
first three centuries. This had been a favourite idea with 
Lefevre,^ who had taught it to Farel, Gerard Boussel, and 
the other members of the "group of Meaux." Calvin 
may have received it from Boussel ; but there is no need 
to suppose that it did not come to him quite indepen- 
dently. He had studied the Fathers of the first three 

' " Et oomment ne aouhaiterions-nons pM voir notre si^le ramen^ k 
rinuge de oette ^lise primitive, piiisqu'alon Christ receyait an plas par 
hommage, et qae I'^Ut de eon nom £tait plus an loin r^panda ? . . . 
Poiaae cette extension de la foi, paisse cette poret^ da cnlte, a^joord'hai 
qae reparatt la lumt&re de I'lSvangile, nous 6tre aussi aoconi^es par celui 
qui est Mni au-dessus de toutes choses ! Aigourd'hui, je le r^p^te, que 
reparait la lami&re de l'£yangile, qui se r^pand enfin de nouyeau dans le 
monde, et y ^daire de ses divins rayons un grand nombre d'esprits ; de telle 
sorte que, sans parler de bien d'autres avautages, depuis le temps de 
Constantine, oil r£glise primitiye pen k pea d^g^n^r^ perdit tout a fait 
son caracter, 11 n'y a en dans ancnne autre epoque plus de oonnaissanoe 
des langues. • • ."— Lef&vre d'fitaples, aux Lecteurs ehr^iem de Afeattx 
(Henninjard, Oorrtapcndanee, etc. i. 98). 


centuries more diligently than any of his contemporaries. 
He recognised as none of them did that the Holy Supper 
of the Lord was the centre of the religious life of the 
Church, and the apex and crown of her worship. He saw 
how careful the Church of the first three centuries had been 
to protect the sacredness of the simple yet profoimd rite ; 
and that it had done so by preventing the approach of all 
unworthy communicants. Discipline was the nerve of the 
early Church, and excommunication was the nerve of dis- 
cipline ; and Calvin wished to introduce both. Moreover, he 
knew that in the early Church it belonged to the membership 
and to the ministry to exercise discipline and to pronounce 
excommunication. He desired to reintroduce all these dis- 
tinctive features of the Church of the first three centuries 
— weekly communion, discipline and excommunication 
exercised by the pastorate and the members. He re- 
cognised that when the people had been accustomed to 
come to the Lord's Table only once or twice in the year, 
it was impossible to introduce weekly communion all at 
once. But he insisted that the warnings of St. Paul 
about unworthy communicants were so weighty that 
notorious sinners ought to be prevented from approaching 
the Holy Supper, and that the obstinately impenitent 
should be excommunicated. This and this alone was the 
distinctive thing about Calvin's proposals; this was the 
new conception which he introduced. 

Calvin's mistake was that, while he believed that the 
membership and the pastorate should exercise discipline 
and excommimication, he also insisted that the secular 
power should enforce the censures of the Church. His 
ideas worked well in the French Church, a Church " under 
the cross," and in the same position as the Church of the 
early centuries. But the conception that the secular power 
ought to support with civil pains and penalties the dis- 
ciplinary decisions of ecclesiastical Courts, must have pro- 
duced a tyranny not unlike what had existed in the mediaeval 
Church. Calvin's ideas, however, were never accepted 
save nominally in any of the Swiss Churches — not even 


in Geneva. The very thought of excommunication in the 
hands of the Church was eminently distasteful to the 
Protestants of the sixteenth century ; they had suffered too 
much from it as exercised by the Boman Catholic Church. 
Nor did it agree with the conceptions which the magis- 
trate of the Swiss republics had of their own dignity, that 
they should be the servants of the ministry to carry out 
their sentences.^ The leading Beformers in German Swit- 
zerland almost universally held that excommunication, if it 
ever ought to be practised, should be in the hands of the 
civil authoritie& 

Zwingli did not think that the Church should exercise 
the right of excommunication. He declared that the 
example of the first three centuries was not to be followed, 
because in these days the '' Church could have no assistance 
from the Emperors, who were pagans " ; whereas in Zurich 
there was a Christian magistracy, who could relieve the 
Church of what must be in any case a disagreeable duty. 
His successor, Bullinger, the principal adviser of the divines 
of the English Beformation, went further. Writing to Leo 
Jud (1532), he declares that excommunication ought not to 
belong to the Church, and that he doubts whether it should 
be exercised even by the secular authorities ; and in a letter 
to a Bomance pastor (Nov. 24th, 1543) he expounds his 
views about excommunication, and states how he differs from 
his optimos fratres Ocdlos (Viret, Farel, and Calvin).* The 
German Swiss Beformers took the one side, and the French 
Swiss Beformers took the other ; and the latter were all men 
who bad learned to reverence the usages of the Church of 
the first three centuries, and desired to see its methods of 
ecclesiastical discipline restored. 

The people invariably sided with the German-speaking 

' The prersQing idea was that the Evangelical pastors were the servants 
of the community, and therefore of the Councils which represented it. J. J. 
Watteville, the celebrated Advoyer or President of Bern, and a strong and 
gimerons supporter of the Reformation, was accustomed to say : "Nothing 
preycnts me dismissing a servant when he displeases me ; why should not a 
town send its pastor away if it likesl " (Hermii\jard,(7(?rrM!p(m<ian«0,TiL854n.). 

' Herminjard, Corr€9p<mdanu, etc. iz. 116. 


Bef ormers.^ Calvin managed, with great difficulty, to intro- 
duce excommunication into Greneva after his returm from 
exile, but not in a way conformable to his ideas. Farel 
could not get it introduced into NeuchateL He believed, 
founding on the New Testament,' that the membership of 
each parish had the right to exclude from the Holy Supper 
sinners who had resisted all admonitions. But the Council 
and community of Neuch&tel would not tolerate the 
"practice and usage of Excommunication," and did not 
allow it to appear in their ecclesiastical ordinances of 
1542 or of 1553. Oecolampadius induced the Council of 
Basel to permit excommunication, and to inscribe the names 
of the excommunicate on placards fixed on the doors of the 
churches. Zwingli remonstrated vigorously, and the practice 
was abandoned. Bern was willing to warn open sinners 
frotn approaching the Lord's Table, but would not hear of 
excommunication, and declared roundly that ''ministers, 
who were sinners themselves, being of flesh and blood, 
should not attempt to penetrate into the individual con- 
sciences, whose secrets were known to God alone." Viret 
tried to introduce a discipline eceUsiastique into the Fays de 
Yaud, but was unable to induce magistrates or people to 
accept it. The young Protestant Churches of Switzerland, 
with the very doubtful exception of Geneva after 1541, 
refused to allow the introduction of the disciplinary usages 
of the primitive Church. They had no objection to dis- 
cipline, however searching and vexatious, provided it was 
simply an application of the old municipal legislation, to 
which they had for generations been accustomed, to the 
higher moral requirements of religion.* It was univers- 

' Hermiiyard, Oorregpondaneef eto. Tiii. 280, 281, ix. 117, yt 188 ; 
Ruchat, ffistoire de la Reformation de la Suisse, ii. 620/, ; Farel, Summaire, 
edition of 1867, pp. 78/. 

« Matt xviii. 16-17. 

' The actioD of the people of the four parishes which made the district 
of Thiez illustrateB a condition of mind not easily sympathised with by us, 
and it shows what the commonalty of the sixteenth centuiy thought of the 
powers of the Councils which ruled their city republics. The district 
belonged to Qeneva, and was under the rule of the Council of that city. 



ally recognised that the standard of moral living all over 
French Switzerland was very low, and that stringent 
measures were required to improve it. No exception 
was taken to the severe reprimand which the Council of 
Bern addressed to the subject Council of Lausanne for their 
failure to correct the evil habits of the people of that old 
episcopjtl town ; ^ but such discipline had to be exercised 
in the old mediaeval way through the magistrates, and not 
in any new-fangled fashion borrowed from the primitive 
Church. So far as Switzerland was concerned, Calvin's en- 
treaties to model their ecclesiastical life on what he believed 
with Lefftvre to be the golden period of the Church's history, 
fell on heedless ears. One must go to the French Church, 
and in a lesser degree to the Church of Knox in Scotland, 
to see Calvin's ideas put in practice ; it is vain to look for 
this in Switzerland. 

The Catechism tot children was published in 1537, and 
was meant, according to the author, to give expression to a 
simple piety, rather than to exhibit a profound knowledge of 

rhe inhAbitants had been permitted to retain the Romanist religiou. They 
irere, nevertheless, excommnnicated by their Bishop for clinging to Geneva 
with loyalty. They were honest Roman CSatholics ; they oould not bear the 
tboHght of living under excommunication, and longed for absolution ; the 
Bishop would not grant it ; so the people applied to ths Council of Geneva to 
abtolve them, which the Council did by a minute which runs as follows : 
"(AprQ 4th, 1585) Sur ce qu'est propose par n<*stre chastelain de Thiez, que 
oeox de Thiez font doubte soy presenter en Teajrlise k ces Pasqnes prochaines 
(April 16th), k oause d'ancunes lettres d'excommuniement qui sont est^ 
oontre ancnns ex^ut^es, par quoi volentier ils desirent avoir rem^e de ab- 
solution. . . . Est est^ r^lu que Ton escrive une patente aux vicairea du 
diet mandement (district), que nous lee tenons pour absols." This was 
enough. The people went cheerfully to their Easter services (Herminjard, 
Comepondanee, etc iv. 26».). 

^ Gf. the letter of the Gouncil of Bern to the Gouncil of Lausanne : " (July 
1541) : Concemant minas contra ministrum Verbi, lasciviam vite civium, 
baochanalia^ ebrietates, commessationes, contemptum Evangelii, rythmos 
impodioofl, eta, ceux de Lausanne sont vertement reprimand's. On leur 
remontre leur negligence k chAtier les vices. 11 leur est ordonn^ de punir, 
dans le terme d*un mois, les bacchantes et aussi oelui qui a menac' le predicant 
et I'a interpelie dans la rue. 11 est ^galement ordonne aux ambassadeurs qui 
seront envoy^s pour les appels, de faire de s^v^res remonstrances devant le 
Conseil et les Bonigeois, et de les menaoer en lei ezhortant k s'amender" 
(Hermiigard, Correapondancey vii. 146). 



religious truth. But, as Calvin himself felt later, it was too 
theological for children, and was superseded by a second 
Catechism, published immediately after his return to 
Geneva in 1541. The first Catechism was entitled Tiistrue- 
tion and Canfemon of Faith for the use of the Church of 
Ckneva. It expounded successively the Ten Commandments, 
the Apostles' Creed, the Lord's Prayer, and the Sacraments. 
The duties of the pastorate and of the magistracy were 
stated in appendices.^ 

The Confession of Faith had for its full title. Confession 
de la Foy laqudle tons hourgois et habitans de Oentoe et 
subjectz du pays doyvent Jurer de garder et tenir extraide de 
VInstruction dont on use en V^glise de la dicte viUe,* It 
reproduced the contents of the Instruction, and was, like 
it, a coqdeused summary of the Institutio, 

This Confession has often been attributed to Farel, but 
there can be little doubt that it came from the pen of 
Calvin.^ It was submitted to the Council and approved 
by them, and they agreed that the people should be asked 
to swear to maintain it, the various divisions of the 
districts of the town appearing for the purpose before the 
secretary of the Council. The proposal was then sent 
down to the Council of the Two Hundred, where it was 
assented to, but not without opposition. The minutes 
show that some members remained faithful to the Romanist 
faith. They said that they ought not to be compelled 
to take an oath which was against their conscience. 
Others who professed themselves Protestants asserted that 
to swear to a Confession took from them their liberty. 

* This fint Ofttechtsm has been repnblished and edited under the title, 
Le CiUichismefran^is de CcUvin, publUen 25S7, r6imprim6 powr lajnwn'Ure 
fois cTapris un exemplaire wmtfellement retrouv4 et suivi de la plus anciennie 
Oan/esnon de foi de Vigliae de Qtnivef avee deux notices, Fune hisUnique, 
Vaulre bibliographique, par Albert Rilliet et Thtophile Dufour, 1878. The 
corions bibliographioal history of the book is given in Doumergne, Jsan 
Calffin, ii. p. 280 ; and at greater length in the preface to the reprint. 

' MUller, JHe Bekenntnissehriften der re/ormierien Kirehe, p. 111. 

'The question is carefqlly discussed by BUliet in his Xs CaUehiims 
fran^ais de Calvin, and by Doumergue, Jean Calvin, etc iL 237-89. 


" We do not wish to be constrained," they said, " but to 
live in our liberty." But in the end it was resolved to do 
as the Ck)uncil had recommended. So day by day the 
dizenniers, or captains of the divisions of the town, brought 
their people to the cathedral, where the secretary stood in 
the pulpit to receive the oath. The magistrates set the 
example, and the people were sworn in batches, raising 
their hands and taking the oath. But there were mal- 
contents who stayed away, and there were beginnings of 
trouble which was to increase. Deputies from Bern, 
unmindful of the fact that their city had sworn in the 
same way to their creed, encouraged the dissentients by 
saying that no one could take such an oath without 
perjuring himself; and this opinion streqgthened the 
opposition. But the Council of Bern disowned its deputies,^ 
and refused any countenance to the malcontents, and the 
trouble passed. All Geneva was sworn to maintain the 

Meanwhile the ministers of Geneva had been urging 
decision about the question of discipline and excommunica- 
tion ; and the murmurs against them grew stronger. The 
Council was believed to be too responsive to the pleadings 
of the pastors, and a stormy meeting of the General 
Council (Nov. 25th) revealed the smouldering discontent. 
On the 4th of January (1538) the Councils of Geneva 
rejected entirely the proposals to institute a discipline 
which would protect the profanation of the Lord's Table, 
by resolving that the Holy Supper was to be refused to 
no person seeking to partaka On the 3rd of February, 
at the annual election of magistrates, four Syndics were 
chosen who were known to be the most resolute opponents 
of Calvin and of FareL The new Council did not at 
first show itself hostile to the preachers : their earliest 
minutee are rather deferential. But a large part of the 
citizens were violently opposed to the preachers; the 

* The letter from Bern (dated Nov. 28th) was read to the recalcitrants, 
who gave way and accepted the Conreasion on Jan. 4th, 1588 (Hermii^ard, 


Syndics were their enemies : collision was bound to come 
sooner or later. 

It was at this sti^ that a proposal from Bern brought 
matters to a crisis. 

The city contained many inhabitants who had been 
somewhat unwillingly dragged along the path of Beforma- 
tion. Those who clung to the old faith were reinforced 
by others who had supported the Beformation simply as a 
means of freeing the city from the rule of the Prince 
Bishop, and who had no sympathy with the religious 
movement. The city had long been divided into two 
parties, and the old differences reappeared as soon as the 
city declared itself Protestant. The malcontents took 
advantage of everything that could assist them to stay the 
tide of Beformation and hamper the work of the ministers. 
Ttiey patronised the Anabaptists when they appeared in 
Geneva ; they supported the accusation brought against 
Farel and Calvin by Pierre CSaroli, that they were Arians 
because they refused to use the Athanasian Creed ; above 
all, they declared that they stood for liberty, and called 
themselves Libertines. When Bern interfered, they 
hastened to support its ecclesiastical suggestions. 

Bern had never been contented with the position in 
which it stood to Geneva after its conquest of the Pays de 
Vaud. When the war was ended, or rather before it was 
finished, and while the Bernese army of deliverance was 
occupying the town, the accompanying deputies of Bern 
had claimed for their city the rights over Geneva previously 
exercised by the Prince-Bishop and the Vidomne or re- 
presentative of the Duke of Savoy, whom their army had 
conquered. They claimed to be the overlords of Geneva, 
as they succeeded in making themselves masters of Lausanne 
and the Pays de Vaud. The people of Geneva resisted the 
demand. They declared, Froment tells us, that they had 
not sti-uggled and fought for more than thirty years to 
assert their liberties, in order to make themselves the 
vassals of their allies or of anyone in the wide world.' 

* Actes el geslea marveilletix, p. 215/. 


Bern threatened to renounce alliance; but Geneva stood 
firm ; there was always France to appeal to for aid. In 
the end Bern had to be content with much less than it 
bad demanded. 

Geneva became an independent republic, served heir 
to all the signorial rights of the Prince Bishop and to all 
bis revenues, successor also to all the justiciary rights of 
the Vidomne or representative of the House of Savoy. It 
gained complete sovereignty within the city; it also 
retained the same sovereignty over the districts (mande- 
ments) of Penney, Jussy, and Thiez which had belonged to 
the Prince Bishop. On the other side, Bern received the 
district of Gaillard; Geneva bound itself to make do 
alliance nor conclude any treaty without the consent of 
Bern; and to admit the Bernese at all times into their 
city. The lordship over one or two outlying districts 
was divided — Geneva being recognised as sovereign, and 
having the revenues, and Bern keeping the right to judge 
appeals, eta 

It seemed to be the policy of Bern to create a strong 
State by bringing under its strict control the greater 
portion of Bomance Switzerland. Her subject territories, 
Lausanne, a large part of the Pays de Vaud, Gex, Chablais, 
Orbe, etc., surrounded Geneva on almost every side. If 
only Geneva were reduced to the condition of the other 
Prince Bishopric, Lausanne, Bern's dream of rule would be 
realised. The Beformed Church was a means of solidifying 
these conquests. Over all Romance territories subject 
to Bern the Bernese ecclesiastical arrangements were to 
rale. Her Council was invariably the last court of appeal. 
Her consistory was reproduced in all these French- 
speaking local Churches. Her religious usages and 
ceremonies spread all over this Bomance Switzerland. 
The Church in Geneva was independent. Might it not 
be brought into nearer conformity, and might not 
conformity in ecclesiastical matters lead to the political 
incorporation which Bern so ardently desired ? The 
evangelist of almost all these Bomance Protestant 



Churches had been FareL Their ecclesiastical usages 
had grown up under his guidance. It would conduce to 
harmony in the attempt to introduce uniformity with 
Bern if the Church of Qeneva joined. Such was the 
external political situation to be kept in view in consider- 
ing the causes which led to the banishment of Calvin 
from Geneva. 

In pursuance of its scheme of ecclesiastical conformity, 
the Council of Bern summoned a Synod, representing most 
of the Evangelical Churches in western Switzerland, and 
laid its proposals before them. No detailed account 
of the proceedings has been preserved. There were 
probably some dissentients, of whom Farel was most 
likely one, who pled that the Bomance Churches might be 
left to preserve their own usages. But the general result was 
that Bern resolved to summon another Synod, representing 
the Bomance Churches, to meet at Lausanne (March 30 th, 
1538). They asked (March 5th) the Council of Geneva 
to permit the attendance of Farel and Calvin.^ The letter 
reached Geneva on March 11th, and on that day the 
Genevan magistrates, unsolicited by Bern and without 
consulting their ministers, resolved to introduce the Bernese 
ceremonies into the Genevan Church. Next day they 
sent the letter of Bern to Farel ajid Calvin, and at the 
same time warned the preachers that they would not be 
allowed to criticise the proceedit)gs of the Council in the 
pulpit. Neither Farel nor Calvin made any remonstrance. 
They declared that they were willing to go to Lausanne, 
asked the Council if they had any orders to give, and 
said that they were ready to obey them; and this 
although a second letter (March 20th) had come from 
Bern saying that if the Genevan preachers would not 
accept the Bern proposals they would not be permitted 
to attend the Synod. 

Farel and Calvin accordingly went to the Synod at 
Lausanne, and were parties to the decision arrived at, which 

^ Hermi^jaid, CarreaponcUmee, etc. iv. 403, 404, 407 ; Doumergue, Jsan 
Colvin, etc. U. 278. 


was to accept the usages of Bern — that^ all baptisms 
should be celebrated at stone fonts placed at the entrance 
of the churches ; that unleavened bread should be used at 
the Holy Supper ; and that four religious festivals should 
be observed annually, Christmas, New Year's Day, the 
Annunciation, and the Day of Ascension — with the stipula- 
tion that Bern should warn its officials not to be too hard 
on poor persons for working on these festival days.^ 

When the Council of Bern had got its ecclesiastical 
proposals duly adopted by the representatives of the 
various Churches interested, its Council wrote (April 1 5th) 
to the Council and to the jninisters of Geneva asking 
them to confer together and arrange that the Church of 
Geneva should adopt these usages — ^the magistrates of 
Bern having evidently no knowledge of the hasty resolu- 
tion of the Genevan Council already mentioned. The 
letter was discussed at a meeting of Council (April 19th, 
1538), and several minutes, all relating to ecclesiastical 
matters, were passed. It was needless to come to any 
resolution about the Bern usages ; they had been adopted 
already. The letter from Bern was to be shown to Farel 
and Calvin, and the preachers were to be asked and were 
to answer, yea or nay, would they at once introduce the 
Bern ceremonies? The preachers said that the usages 
could not be introduced at once. The third Genevan 
preacher, £lie Coraut, had spoken disrespectfully of the 
Council in the city, and was forbidden to preach, upon 
threat of imprisonment, until he had been examined 
about his worda* Lastly, it was resolved that the Holy 
Supper should be celebrated at once according to the Bern 
rites; and that if Farel and Calvin refused, the Council 
was to engage other preachers who would obey their 

' Hienniigaid, Corrvq^ofu/ance, etc iy. 418. 

* On April 8th it was reported that Coraat had said in a sermon that 
Geneva was a realm of tipplers, and that the town was governed by drunkards 
(from all accounts a true statement of fact, but scarcely suitable for a 
sennon), and had been brought before the Council in consequence. 

* Henniigard, Carrttg^ondanee, etc iv. 418-16, 420-22. 


Cioraut, the blind preacher, preached as usual (^pril 
20th). He wa& at once arrested and imprisoned. In the 
afternoon, Farel and Calvin, accompanied by several of the 
most eminent citizens of Geneva, appeared before the 
Council to protest against Coraut's imprisonment, and to 
demand his release — Farel speaking with his usual daring 
vehemence, and reminding the magistrates that hut for his 
work in the city they would not be in the position they 
occupied. The request was refused, and the Council took 
advantage of the presence of the preachers to ask them 
whether they would at once introduce the Bern usages. 
They replied that they had no objection to the ceremonies, 
and would be glad to use them in worahip provided they 
were properly adopted,^ hut not on a simple order from the 
Council. Farel and Calvin were then forbidden to preach. 
Next day the two pastors preached as usual — Calvin in 
St Peter's and Farel in St. Gervaise. The Council met 
to consider this act of disobedience. Some were for sending 
the preachers to prison at once; but it was resolved to 
summon the Council of the Two Hundred on the morrow 
(April 22 nd) and the General Council on the 24th. The 
letters of Bern (March 5th, March 20th, April 15th) were 
read, and the Two Hundred resolved that they would " live 
according to the ceremonies of Bern." What then was to 
be done with Calvin and Farel ? Were they to be sent to 
the town's prison ? No ! Better to wait till the Council 
secured other preachers (it had been trying to do so and 
had failed), and then dismiss them. The General Council 
then met ; ' resolved to " live according to the ceremonies 
of Bern," and to banish the three preachers from the 
town, giving them three days to collect their efifects.' 

^ Cftlvin says that he wished the matter to be regularly 'brought beford 
the people and discussed : " Concio etiam a no'is habecttur de ceremoniarum 
libertaUp deinde ad eovformUatem populum adhorUmuTf propontis ^u$ 
rationihus, Demum liberum eeeUsias judicium permiUatur," Gf. the 
memorandum presented to the Synod of Zurich by Calvin and Farel, 
ibid. Y. 8 ; Corpus Re/ormatorum, xxxviii. ii. 191. 

' H^rmiigard, Correspmvdenu, etc. iv. 428, 425, 426, 427, y. S, 24. 

' It is worth mentioning that while the three letters from Bern were 


Calvin and Farel were sent into exile, and the magistrates 
made haste to seize the furniture which had. been given 
them when they were settled as preachers. 

Calvin long remembered the threats and dangers of 
these April days and nights. He was insulted in the 
streets. Bullies threatened to '' throw him into the Bhone." 
Crowds of the baser sort gathered round his house. 
They sang ribald and obscene songs under his windows. 
They fired shots at night, more than fifty one night, 
before his door — ''more than enough to astonish a poor 
scholar, timid as I am, and as I confess I have always 
been." ^ It was the memory of these days that made him 
loathe the very thought of returning to Geneva. 

The two Beformers, Calvin and Farel, left the town at 
once, determined to lay their case before the Council of 
Bern, and also before the Synod of Swiss Churches which 
was about to meet at Zurich (April 28th, 1538). The 
Councillors of Bern were both shocked and scandalised at 
the treatment the preachers had received from the Council 
of Geneva, and felt it all the more that their proposal of 
conformity had served as the occasion. They wrote at 
once to Geneva (April 27th), begging the Council to undo 
what they had done ; to remember that their proposal for 
uniformity had never been meant to serve as occasion 
for compulsion in matters which were after all indifferent.^ 
Bern might be masterful, but it was almost always courteous. 
The secular authority might be the motive force in all 
ecclesiastical matters, but it was to be exercised through the 

brought before the Council of the Two Hundred, the decisions of the 
Lanauine Synod were produced at the General Council. Did the Council 
wish to give their decision a semblance of ecclesiastical authority t 

^ Bonnet, Le$ Leftresfranfaises de^Calvinf ii. 575, 576. 

* " A ceste cause, yous instantement, trte-acertes et en fratemelle affec- 
tion prions, admonestons et requ^rons que ... la rigueur que ten^ aux dits 
Farel et Calvin admod^rer, pour I'amour de nous et pour ^viter scandale, 
contemplans que oe qu'avons k vous et k eulx escript pour la conformity des 
o^rimonies de TE^glise, est precede de bonne affection et par mode de 
requeste, et non pas pour vous, ne eulz, oonstraindre k oes ohoses, que sont 
indifferentes en TEaglise, comme le p^in de la C^ne et aultres " (Hermnjardr-- 
Corre^Mndanee, etc. iv. 428). 



machinery of the Church. The authorities of Bern had 
been careful to establish an ecclesiastical Court, the Con- 
sistory, of two pastors and three Councillors, who dealt 
with all ecclesiastical details. It encouraged the meeting 
of Synods all over its territories. Its proposals for uni- 
formity had been addressed to both the pastors and the 
Council of Geneva, and had spoken of mutual consulta- 
tion. They had no desire to seem even remotely responsible 
for the bludgeoning of the Genevan ministers. The 
Council of Geneva answered with a mixture of servility and 
veiled insolence ^ (April 30 th). Nothing could be made of 

From Bern, Farel and Calvin went to Zurich, and there 
addressed a memorandum to a Sjmod, which included 
representatives from Zurich, Bern, Basel, SchafThausen, St. 
Gallen, Miihlhausen, Biel (Bienne), and the two banished 
ministers from Geneva. It was one of those General 
Assemblies which in Calvin's eyes represented the Church 
Catholic, to which all particular Churches owed deference, 
if not simple obedience. The Genevan pastors presented 
their statement with a proud humility. They were willing 
to accept the ceremonies of Bern, matters in themselves 
indifferent, but which might be useful in the sense of 
showing the harmony prevailing among the Beformed 
Churches ; but they must be received by the Church of 
Geneva, and not imposed upon it by the mere fiat of 
the secular authority. They were quite willing to 
expound them to the people of Geneva and recommend 
them. But if they were to return to Geneva, they must 
be allowed to defend themselves against their Calumniators.; 
and their programme for the organisation of the Church 
of Geneva, which had already been accepted but had not 
been put in practice (January 16th, 1537),* must be 
introduced. It consisted of the following : — the establish- 
ment of an ecclesiastical discipline, that the Holy 

^ For the letter of Bern to Oeneva, and the answer of Geneva, &L 
Herminjard, Corregpundanoe, eto. iv. 427-480. 
> Jbid. iy. 165 «. 




Supper might not be profaned; the division of the city 
into parishes, that each minister might be acquainted with 
his own flock ; an increase in the number of ministers for 
the town ; r^ular ordination of pastors by the laying on 
of hands ; more frequent celebration of the Holy Supper, 
according to the practice of the primitive ChurcL^ They 
confessed that perhaps they had been too severe; on 
this personal matter they were willing to be guided.* They 
listened with humility to the exhortations of some of the 
members of the Synod, who prayed them to use more 
gentleness in dealing with an undisciplined people. But 
on the question of principle and on the rights of the 
Church set over against the State, they were firm. It 
was probably the first time that the Erastians of eastern 
Svritzerland had listened to such High Church doctrine ; 
but they accepted it and made it their own for the time 
being at least The Synod decided to write to the Council 
of Geneva and ask them to have patience with their 
preachers and receive them back again ; and they asked 
the deputies from Bern to charge themselves with the 
affair, and do their best to see Farel and Calvin reinstated 
in Geneva. 

The deputies of Bern accepted the commission, and the 
Geneva pastors went back to Bern to await the arrival of the 
Bern deputies from Zurich. They waited, full of anxiety, 
for nearly fourteen days. Then the Bern Council were 
ready to fulfil the request of the Synod.' Deputies were 
appointed, and, accompanied by Farel and Calvin, set out 

* The memoir presented to the Synod of Zarich has been printed by 
Herminjard, Correspondaaue, etc 7. S--6, and in the Corpus lUformatorum, 
zxzviiL it 190-192. The conclusion prays Bern to drive from their territory 
ribald and oheoene songs and catches, that the people of Geneva may not 
cite their example as an excuse. 

* " Wir habent ouch durch Etlich unsere vorordneten uffs emiitlichest 
mit ihnen reden lassen sich etlicher ungeschigter scherpffe zemaassen and 
aich by disem nnerbuwenem volgk Cristenlicher sennflmiitigkeit zn 
beflyasen" (Carpus X^ormcUarum, xxxviil. ii. 193). 

' The minute of the Gk>nncil of Bern says : " The Genevans had refused 
to receive Calvin and Farel. If my lords need preachers, they will keep 
them in mind " (Herminjard, Comspondcmee, 7. 20 n.). 


for Geneva. The two pastors waited on the frontier at 
Noyon or at Genthod while the deputiefl of Bern went on 
to Geneva. They had an audience of the Council (May 
23rd), were told that the Council could not revoke what 
a)l ^ree Goancils had voted. The Council of the Two 
Hundred refused to recall the pastors. The Council 
General (May 26th) by a unanimous vote repeated tbe 
sentence of exile, and forbade the three pastors (Farel, 
Calvin, and Coraut) to set foot on Genevau territoiy. 

Driven from Geneva, Calvin would fain have betaken 
himself to a quiet student life ; but he was too well known and 
too much valued to be left in the obscurity he longed for. 
Straaaburg claimed him to minister to the French refugees 
who bad settled within its protecting walls. He was 
invited to attend the Protestant conference at Frankfurt ; 
he was present at the union conferences at Hagenau, at 
Worms, and at B^ensburg. There be met tbe more 
celebrated German Protestant divines, who welcomed him 
as they had done no one else from Switzerland. Calvin 
put bimself right with them theologically by signing at 
once and without solicitation the Augsburg Confession, 
and aided thereby the feeling of union among all Pro- 
testants. He kindled in the breast of Melanchthon one 
of those romantic friendships which the frail Frenchman, 
with the pallid face, black hair, and piercing eyes, seemed 
to evoke so easily. Luther himself appreciated hie 
theolc^ even on his jealously guarded theory of tbe 
Sacrament of the Holy Supper. 

Meanwhile things were not going well in Geneva Out- 
wardly, there was not much difference. Pastors nunistered 
in fK*. />)iiiiv>hi>s of the town, and the ordinary and ecclesias- 
on as usual. The magistrates enforced the 
' condemned the Anabaptists, the Papists, all 
of the sumptuary and disciplinary laws of the 
compelled every householder to go to church. 
fe seemed to be gone. The Council and the 
id the new pastors as their servants, com- 
1 render strict obedience to all their decisiona 


in ecclesiastical matters, and considered religion as a 
political affair. It is undoubted that the morals of the 
town became worse, — so bad that the pastors of Bern wrote 
a letter of expostulation to the pastors in Geneva,^ — and 
the Lord's Supper seems to have been neglected. The 
contests between parties within the city became almost 
scandalous, and the independent existence of (jeneva was 

At the elections the Syndics failed to secure their re- 
election. Men of more moderate views were chosen, and 
from this date (Feb. 1539) the idea began to be mooted 
that (Geneva must ask Calvin to return. Private overtures 
were made to him, but he refused. Then came letters from 
the Council, begging him to come back and state his terms. 
He kept silenca Lausanne and Neuch&tel joined their 
entreaties to those of Geneva. Calvin was not to be per- 
suaded. His private letters reveal his whole mind. He 
shuddered at returning to the turbulent city. He was not 
sure that he was fit to take charge of the Church in Geneva. 
He was in peace at Strassburg, minister to a congregation 
of his own countrymen ; and the pastoral tie once formed 
was not to be lightly broken ; yet there was an undercurrent 
drawing him to the place where he first began the ministry 
of the Word. At leugth he wrote to the Council of 
Geneva, putting all his difficulties aud his longings before 
them — ^neither accepting nor refusing. His immediate 
duty called him to the conference at Worms. 

The people of Geneva were not discouraged. On the 
19th October, the Council of the Two Hundred placed on 
their register a declaration that every means must be taken 
to secure the services of " Maystre Johan Calvinus," and on 
the 22nd a worthy burgher and member of the Council, of 
the Two Hundred, Louis Dufour, was despatched to Strass- 
burg with a letter from both the civic Councils, begging 
Calvin to return to his " old place " (prestine plache), " seeing 

^ HermiigArd, CorreaponcUmoe, etc. t. , 189 ; Corpus StfamuUorun:^ 
ixxviii ii 181. 

' Doumergae, Jean Caivin, etc. ii 681/1 


our people desire you greatly/' and promisiiig that they 
would do what they could to content him.^ Dufour got to 
Strassburg only to find that Calvm had gone to Worms. 
He presented his letters to the Council of the town, who 
sent them on by an express (eques celeri cursu) ' to Calvin 
(Nov. 6th, 1540). Far fix)m being uplifted at the genuine 
desire to receive him back again to Geneva, Calvin was 
terribly distressed. He took counsel with his friends at 
Worms, and could scarcely place the case before them for 
his sobs.^ The. intolerable pain he had at the thought of 
going back to Geneva on the one hand, and the idea that 
Bucer might after all be right when he declared that 
Calvin's duty to the Church Universal clearly pointed to 
his return,^ overmastered him completely. His friends, re- 
specting his sufferings, advised him to postpone all decision 
until again in Strassburg. Others who were not near him 
kept urging him. Farel thundered at him (eonstemd par tes 
foudres)} The pastors of Zurich wrote (April 5th 1541) : 

** You know that Geneva lies on the confines of France, of 
Italy, and of Germany, and that there is great hope that the 
Grospel may spread from it to the neighbouring cities, and 
thus enlarge the ramparts (les boulevards) of the kingdom 
of Christ. — You know that the Apostle selected metropolitan 
cities for his preaching centres, that the Gospel might be 
spread throughout the surrounding towns." ^ 

Calvin was overcome. He consented to return to 
Geneva, and entered the city still suffering from his repug- 
nance to undertake work he was not at all sure that he 
was fitted to do. Historians speak of a triumphal entry. 
Inhere may have been, though nothing could have been 
more distasteful to Calvin at any time, and eminently so 

^ Begigtres du Corueil, xxziv. f., 488, 485, 490 (quoted in Doumergae, 
Jean Calvin, ii. 700). 

' Herminjard, Correspondanee dea JUformaUurs dana le$ pays d$ lamgrnt 
fran^ise {Qeneytk, 1866-98), vi. 865. 

' Corpus Rsformatorumt zzzix. (zi.) 114. 

*iWd. p. 54. »iWrf. p. 170. 

• HenniTijard, Oorre^pond^mcet etc. vii 77. 


on this occasion, with the feelings he had. OoDtemporary 
documents are silcDt. There is only the minute of the 
Ck>uncil, as formal as minutes usually are, relating that 
" Maystre Johan Calvin, ministre evangelique," is again in 
charge of the Church in Geneva (Sept. 13th, 1541).^ 

Calvin was in Geneva for the second time, dragged there 
both times unwillingly, his dream of a quiet scholar's life 
completely shattered. The work that lay before him proved 
to be almost as hard as he had foreseen it would be. The 
common idea that from this second entry Calvin was master 
within the city, is quite erroneous. Fourteen years were 
spent in a hard struggle (1541—55); and if the remain- 
ing nine years of his life can be called his period of triumph 
over opponents (1555-64), it must be remembered that 
he was never able to see his ideas of an ecclesiastical organi- 
sation wholly carried out in the city of his adoption. One 
must go to the Protestant Church of France to see Calvin's 
idea completely realised.' 

On the day of his entry into Geneva (Sept. 13 th, 
1541) the Council resolved that a Constitution should be 
given to the Church of the city, and a committee was formed, 
consisting of Calvin, his colleagues in the ministry, and six 
members of the Council, to prepare the draft. The work was 
completed in twenty days, and ready for presentation. On 
September 16th, however, it had been resolved that the 
draft when prepared should be submitted for revision to 
the Smaller Council, to the Council of Sixty, and finally to 
the Council of Two Hundred. The old opposition at once 
manifested itself within these Councils. • There seeni to 
have been alterations, and at the. last moment Calvin thought 
that the Constitution would be made Worthless for the pur- 
pose of discipline and orderly ecclesiastical rula In the end, 
however, the drafted ordinances were adopted unanimously 
by the Council of Two Hundred without serious alteration, 

^ Registres du Con$Hl, zzxv. f., 824 (quoted in Doumergue, Jean Calvin, 
ete. it 710). 

' Tot the wond^rAil inflnenee of Galyin on the French Reformation and 
its caoaeSi of. below, pp. 168 fil 


The result was the famous Ecclesiastical Ordinances of 
Geneva in their first form. They did not assume their 
final form until 1561.^ 

When these Ordinances of 1541 are compared with the 
principles of ecclesiastical government laid down in the 
In>stitutio, with the Articles of 1537, and with the 
Ordinances of 1561, it can be seen that Calvin must have 
sacrificed a great deal in order to content the magistrates of 

He had contended for the self-government of the Church, 
especially in matters of discipline ; the principle runs all 
through the chapters of the fourth \ book of the InstitvJtio. 
The Ordinan/ies give a certain show of autonomy, and yet the 
whole authority really rests with the Councils. The dis- 
cipline was exercised by the C<msistory or session of Elders 
(Anciens) ; but this Consistory was chosen by the Smaller 
Council on the advice of the ministers, and was to include 
two members of the Smaller Council, four from the Council 
of Sixty, and six from the Council of Two Hundred, and 
when they had been chosen they were to be presented to 
the Council of Two Hundred for approval. When the Con- 
sistory met, one of the four Syndics sat as president, hold- 
ing his baton, the insignia of his magisterial office, in his 
hand, which, as the revised Ordinances of 1561 very truly 
said, " had more the appearance of civil authority than of 
spiritual rule." The revised Ordinances forbade the presi- 
dent to carry his baton when he presided in The Consistory, in 
order to render obedience to the distinction which is " clearly 
shown in Holy Scripture to exist between the magistrate's 
sword and authority and the superintendence which ought 
to be in the Church ** ; but the obedience to Holy Scripture 
does not seem to have gone further than laying aside the 
baton for the time. It appears also that the rule of con- 
sulting the ministers in the appointments made to the 
Consistory was not unfrequently omitted, and that it was 

^Articles of 1587 in the Corpus Beformatorum, zzzviii. L (z. i.) 6-14 ; 
Ordinances of 1541 ; Qfid, pp. 15-80; Ordinemees of 1561; ibid» pp. 
91-124 ; InstiitUhn, iv. oo. L-zlL 


to all intents and purposes simply a committee of the 
Councils, and anything but submissive to the pastors.^ The 
Consistory had no power to inflict civil punishments on 
delinquents. It could only admonish and warn. When it 
deemed that chastisements were necessary, it had to report 
to the Council, who sentenced. This was also done in order 
to maintain the separation between the civil and ecclesias- 
tical power; but, in fact, it was a committee of the Council 
that reported to the Council, and the distinction was really 
illusory. This state of matters was quite repugnant to 
Calvin's cherished idea, not only as laid down in the 
InstiitUiorif but as seen at work in the Constitution of the 
French Protestant Church, which was mainly his authorship. 
"The magnificent, noble, and honourable Lords" of the 
Council (such was their title) of this small town of 13,000 
inhabitants deferred in words to the teachings of Calvin about 
the distinction between the civil and the spiritual powers, but 
in fact they retained the whole power of rule or discipline 
in their own hands; and we ought to see in the disciplinary 
powers and punishments of the Consistory of Geneva, not 
an exhibition of the working of a Church organised on the 
principles of Calvin, but the ordinary procedure of the 
Town Council of a mediaeval city. Their petty punishments 
and their minute interference with private life are only 
special instances of what was common to all municipal 
rule in the sixteenth century. 

Through that century we find a protest against the 
mediaeval intrusion of the ecclesiastical power into 
the realm of civil authority, with the inevitable re- 
action which made the ecclesiastical a mere department 
of national or civic administration. Zurich under Zwingli, 
aldiough it is usually taken as the extreme type of this 
Erastian policy, as it came to be called later, went no 
further than, Bern, Strassburg, or other places. The 
Council of Geneva had legal precedent when they 
insisted that the supreme ecclesiastical power belonged 
to them. The city had been an ecclesiastical principality. 

1 Corpus Reformatorum, xxxviii. i. 121, 122. 


ruled in civil aa well as in ecclesiastical things by its 
Bishop, and the Council wei*e legally the inheritors of the 
Bishop's authority. This meant, among other things, that 
the old laws against heresy, unless specially repealed, 
remained on the Statute Book, and errors in doctrine 
were reckoned to be of the nature of treasonable 
things; and this made heresies, or variations in religious 
opinion from what the Statute Book had declared to 
be the official view of truth, liable to civil pains and 

** Castellio's doubts as to the canonicity of the Song of 
Songs and as to the received interpretation of Christ's 
descent into Hades, Bolsec's criticism of predestination, 
Gryet's suspected scepticism and possession of infidel books, 
Servetus' rationalism and anti-Trinitarian creed, were all 
opinions judged to be criminal . . . The heretic may be a 
man of irreproachable character ; but if heresy be treason 
against the State," ^ 

he was a criminal, and had to be punished for the 
crime on the Statute Book. To say that Calvin burnt 
Servetus, as is continually done, is to make one man re- 
sponsible for a state of things which had lasted in western 
Europe ever since the Emperor Theodosius decleured that 
all men were out of law who did not accept the Nicene 
Creed in the form issued by Damasus of Rome. On the 
other hand, to release Calvin from his share in that tragedy 
and crime by denying that he sat among the judges of the 
heretic, or to allege that Servetus was slain because he 
conspired against the liberties of the city, is equally un- 
reasonable. Calvin certainly believed that the execution 
of the anti-Trinitarian was right. The Protestants of 
France and of Switzerland in 1903 (Nov. Ist) erected 
what they called a monument expiaioire to the victim 
of sixteenth century religious persecution, and placed 
on it an inscription in which they acknowledged their 
debt to the great Seformer, and at the same time 

. > Cambridge Modem Eidory, iL 37S. 


condenmed his error, — sorely the right attitude to 

Calvin did three things for Geneva, all of which went 
fax beyond its walls. He gave its Church a trained and 
tested ministry, its homes an educated people who could 
give a reason for their faith, and to the whole city an 
heroic soul which enabled the Uttle town to stand forth as 
the Citadel and City of Bef uge for the oppressed Protestants 
of Europe. 

The earlier preachers of the Beformed faith had been 
stray scholars, converted priests and monks, pious artisans, 
and such like. They were for the most part heroic men 
who did their work nobly. But some of them had no real 
vocation for the position into which they had thrust them- 
selves. They had been prompted by such ignoble motives 
as discontent with their condition, the desire to marry or 
to make legitimate irregular connections,' or dislike to all 
authority and wholesome restraints. They had brought 
neither change of heart nor of conduct into their new 
surroundiugs, and had become a source of danger and 
scandal to the small Protestant communities. 

The first part of the Ordinances was meant to put an 
end to such a condition of things, and aimed at giving the 
Beformed Church a ministry more efficient than the old 
prieethood, without claiming any specially priestly character. 

* On the one aide of the stone is inscribed : 

Le zxvii Octobre MDLIII 

Mourat sar le bucher k Champel 

MiCHBL Servet 

de ViUenenye d'Ar&gon, n4 le zzix Septembre MDXI. 

and on the other : 

Fils respectnenx et reconnaissants de Oalyin notre grand r^formateur, 
mais condamnant nne erreur qui fat celle de son si^le et ferme- 
ment attach^ k la liberty de conscience selon les vrais principes de 
1ft Beformation et de T^vangile, nous avons ilevi ce monument 
ezpiatoire. Le xzvii Octobre MGMIII. 

' Like Jacqnes Bernard, the Franciscan monk, who was one of the paston 
in Geoeya after the banishment of Calvin and Farel, who, "cum esset inter 
Evangelii exordia, hostiliter repngnavit, doneo Christum aliquando in nxoris 
foima eoDtemplatns est." 


The ministers were to be men who helieved that thej wero 
3alled by the voice of God speaking to the individual sool, 
and this belief in a divine vocation was to be tested and 
tried in a threefold way — by a searching examination, by 
a call from their fellow-men in the Church, and by a solemn 
institution to office. 

The examination, which is expressly stated to be the 
most important, was conducted by those who were already 
in the office of the ministry. It concerned, first, the 
■knowledge which the candidate had of Holy Scripture, and 
of his ability to make use of it for the edification of the 
people ; and, second, his walk and conversation in so far 
as they witnessed to his power to be an example as well as 
a te€icher. The candidate was then presented to the Smaller 
Councii. He was next required to preach before the 
people, who were invited to say whether his ministrationB 
were likely to be for edification. These three tests passed, 
he was then to be solemnly set apart by the laying on of 
the hands of ministers, according to the usage of the ancient 
Church. His examination and testing did not end with 
bis ordination. All the ministers of the city were oom- 
manded to meet once a week for the discussion of the 
Scriptures, and at these meetings it was the duty of every 
one, even the least important, to bring forward any cause 
of complaint he believed to exist against any of his brethren, 
whether of doctrine, or of morals, or of inefficient dischaige 
of the duties entrusted to his care. The pastors who 
worked in the villages were ordered to attend as often as 
they could, and none of them were permitted to be absent 
beyond one month. If the meeting of ministers failed to 
agree on any matter brought before them, they were 
enjoined to call in the Elders to assist them ; and a final 
appeal was always allowed to the Signory, or civil authority. 
The same rigid supervision was extended to the whole 
people, and in the visitations for this purpose Elders were 
always associated with ministers.^ Every member of the 

^ Corput R^omuOarvm, zzxviii. i (z. i.) 17-20, 46-48, 66-58, 98-*M 


little rapublic, surrounded by so many and powerful 
enemies, was meant to be a soldier trained for spiritual as 
for temporal warfara Calvin added a spiritual side to 
the military training which preserved the independence of 
the little mediaeval city republics. 

He was unwearied in Ms exertions to make Geneva 
an enliglitened town. His educational policy adopted by 
the Councils was stated in a series of famous regulations 
for the management of the schools and College of the city.* 
He sought out and presented to the Council the most 
noted scholars he could attract to Geneva. Mathurin 
Cordier, the ablest preceptor that France had produced in his 
generation; Beza, its most illustrious Humanist; Castellio 
and Saunier, were all teachers in the city. The fame of 
its schools attracted almost as many as persecution drove 
to take refuge within its walls. The religious instruction 
of the young was carefully attended to. Calvin's earlier 
Catechism was revised, and made more suitable for the 
young; and the children were so well grounded that it 
became a common saying that a boy of Geneva could give 
an answer for his faith as ably as a ''doctor of the 
Sorbonna'* But what Geneva excelled in was its training 
for the ministry and other learned professions. Men with 
the passion of learning in their blood came from all lands 
— ^from Italy, Spain, England, Scotland, even from Bussia, 
and» above all, from France. Pastors educated in Geneva, 
taught by the most distinguished scholars of the day, who 
had gained the art of ruling others in having learned how 
to command themselves, went forth from its schools to 
become the ministers of the struggling Protestants in the 
Netherlands, in England, in Scotland, in the Bhine 
Provinces, and, above all, in Franca They were wise, in- 
defatigable, fearless, ready to give their li^es for their work, 
extorting praise from unwilling mouths, as modest, saintly, 
** with the name of Jesus ever on their lips " and His Spirit 
in their hearts. What they did for France and other 
countries must be told elsewhere. 

' CoTpvi^ Brformaiorumt zxxviii i. (x. i ) 65-90. 


The once disorderly city, a prey to its owa. internal 
factions, became the citadel of the Beformation, defying 
the threats of Bomanist France and Savoy, and opening its 
gates to the persecuted of all lands. It continued to be 
so for generations, and the victims of the dragonnades of 
Louis XIV. received the welcome and protection accorded 
to the sufferers under the Valois in the sixteenth century. 
What it did for them may he best told in the words of a 

" On the next day, a Sunday, we reached a small village 
on a hill about a league from Greneva, from which we 
could see that city with a joy which could only be compared 
to the gladness with which the Israelites beheld the Land 
of Canaan. It was midday when we reached the village, 
and 80 great was our eagerness to be as soon as possible 
within the city which we looked on as our Jerusalem, that 
we did not wish to stay even for food. But our conductor 
informed us that on the Sunday the gates of Geneva were 
never opened until after divine service, that is, until after 
four o'clock. We had therefore to remain in the village 
until about that hour, when we mounted our horses again. 
When we drew near to the town we saw a large number of 
people coming out. Our guide was surprised, and the 
more so when, arriving at the Plain-Palais, a quarter of a 
league from the town, we saw cominc to meet us, three 
carriages escorted by halberdiers and followed by an immense 
crowd of people of both sexes and of every age. As soon as 
we were seen, a servant of the Magistracy approached us 
and prayed us to dismount to salute respectfully 'Their 
Excellencies of Geneva,' who had come to meet us and to 
bid us welcome. We obeyed. The three carriages having 
drawn near, there alighted from each a magistrate and a 
minister, who embraced us with tears of joy and with 
praises of our constancy and endurance far gi*eater than we 
merited. . . . Their Excellencies then permitted the people 
to approach, and there followed a spectacle more touching 
than imagination could picture. Several of the inhabitants 
of Geneva had relatives suffering in the French galleys 
(from which we had been delivered), and these good people 
did not know whether any of them might be among our 
company. So one heard a confused noise, ' My son so and 
so, my husband, my brother, are you there ? ' One can 


imc^ne what embracings welcomed any of our troop who 
could answer. All this crowd of people threw itself on our 
necks with inexpressible transports of joy, praising and 
magnifying the Lord for the manifestation of His grace in 
our favour; and when Their Excellencies asked us to get 
on horseback again to enter the city, we were scarcely able 
to obey, so impossible did it seem to detach ourselves from 
the arms of these pious and zealous brethren, who seemed 
afraid to lose sight of us. At last we remounted and 
followed Their Excellencies, who conducted us into the 
city as in triumph. A magnificent building had been 
erected in Geneva to lodge citizens who had fallen into 
poverty. It had just been finished and furnished, and no 
one had yet lived in it. Their Excellencies thought it 
could have no better dedication than to serve as our 
habitation. They conducted us there, and we were soon on 
foot in a spacious court. The crowd of people rushed in 
after us. Those who had found relatives in our company 
b^ged Their Excellencies to permit them to take them to 
their houses — a request willingly granted. M. Bosquet, 
one of uSy had a mother and two sisters in Geneva, and 
they had come to claim him. As lie was my intimate 
friend, he begged Their Excellencies to permit him to take 
me along with him, and they willingly granted his request. 
Fired by this example, all the burghers, men and women, 
asked Their Excellencies to allow them the s€ime favour of 
lodging these dear brethren in their own houses. Their 
Excellencies having permitted some to do this, a holy 
jealousy took possession of the others, who lamented and 
bewailed themselves, saying that they could not be looked 
on as good and loyal citizens if they were refused the same 
favour ; so Their Excellencies had to give way, and not one 
of us was left in the Maison FrauQaise, for so they had 
called the magnificent building." ^ 

The narrative is that of a Protestant condemned to 
the galleys imder Louis xiv. ; but it may serve as a 
picture of how Geneva acted in the sixteenth century 
when the small city of 13,000 souls received and pro- 
tected nearly 6000 refugees driven from many different 
lands for their religion. 

^ MimoireB tFun proiesiani eondamrU auz galerea de France pour caum dt 
r^ligum, ^criU par lui-mime (1757, repub. 1865), pp. 404-407. 


§ 1. MargverUe d'AngcndSme and the "graup of Memm,'' 

Perhaps no one so thoroughly represents the sentunents 
which inspired the beginnings of the movement for Keforma- 
tion in France as Marguerite d'Angouleme/ the sister of 

^ Sources : Theodore de Bize (Beza), HUUnre SeoUtiMtique des 4gliM9 
TifomUes au Bayaume de France (ed. by G. Banm and E. Cunitz, Puia, 
1888-89) ; J. Crespin, Histovre dee martyra pen^cutez et mie d fnari pour la 
i^r»^(ed. by Benoutt, Toulouse, 1885-87) ; Henniigard, Correitpandanoe ds9 
JU/ormateure dans lee pays de kmgue/ranQaiae, 9 vols. (Geneva, 1878-91) ; 
Calvin's Letters, Corpus Beformatorum^ vols, xxzyiti. il-XLViir. (Bruna- 
wiok, 1872, etc.) ; Bonnet, Lettres de Jean Calvin, 2 vols. (Paris, 1864). 

Later Books : K Doumergue, Jean CalvtUf 8 vols, (pnblinked Laussnno^ 
1899-1906) ; H. M. Baird, History qf the Rise of the Huguenots (London, 
1880), and Theodore Beza (New York, 1899) ; Lavisse, Histoire de France^ 
y. i. pp. 889 ff. ; ii. 183 ff. ; vi. i. ii. ; Hamilton, "Paris under the Valoia 
Kings " {Eng. Hist, Jtevieio, 1886, pp. 260-70). 

* Marguerite was bom at AngoulSme on April 11th, 1402 ; married the 
feeble Duke of Alen^on in 1609 ; was a widow in 1625 ; married Henri 
d'Albret, King of Navarre, in 1627 ; died in 1549. Her only child was 
Jeanne d'Albret, the heroic mother of Henry of l^avarre, who became 
Henri iy. of France. When she was the Duchess of Alen^on, her court at 
Bourges was a centre for the Humanists and Reformers of France ; when 
she became the Queen of Navarre, her castle at N^rac was a haven for all 
persecuted Protestants. The literature about Marguerite is very extensive : 
it is perhaps sufficient to mention — G6nin, Lettres de Marguerite SAngouUma^ 
reine de Navarre (published by the SocUtd de V Histoire de France, 1841-42) ; 
Les idies religieuses de Marguerite de Navarre, d'aupr^ son csuvre poitique ; 
A. Lefranc, Les demieres poisies de Marguerite de Navarre (Paris, 1896) ; 
Becker, ** Marguerite de Navarre, duchesse d'Alen^on et Giiillaume Bri^onnet^ 
4v^ue de Meaux, d'a|ir^ leur corrcspondance manuscrite, 1621-24 " (in the 
Bulletin de la SoeUtide r Histoire du Frotestantisme francaise, xlix. (PAri*-. 
1890) : Darmesteter, Margarst qf Angoulifne, Queen qf Nawurrs (LoaOou* 



King Francis L A study of her letters and of her 
writings — the latter being for the most part in verse — is 
almost essential for a true knowledge of the aspirations of 
the noblest minds of her generation. Not that she 
possessed creative energy or was herself a thinker of any 
originality, but her soul, like some clear sensitive mirror, 
received and reflected the most tremulous throb of the 
intellectual and religious movements around her. She 
hady like many ladies of that age, devoted herself to the 
New Learning. She had mastered Latin, Italian, and 
Spanish in her girlhood, and later she acquired Greek and 
even Hebrew, in order to study the Scriptures in their 
original tongues. Li her the French Benaissance of the end 
of the fifteenth was prolonged throughout the fii-st half of 
the sixteenth century. She was all sentiment and affection, 
full of that gentle courage which soft feminine enthusiasm 
gives, and to her brother and more masculine mother 
(Louise of Savoy) ^ she was a being to be protected 
i^rainst the consequences of her own tender daring. 
Contemporary writers of all parties, save the more bitter 
defenders of the prevalent Scholastic Theology, have 
something good to say about the pure, bright, ecstatic 
Queen of Navarra One calls her the ''violet in the 
royal garden," and says that she unconsciously gathered 
around her all the better spirits in France, as the wild 
thyme attracts the bees. 

Marsiglio Ficino had taught her to drink from the 
well of Christian Platonism;* and this mysticism, which 
had little to do with dogma, which allied itself naturally 
with the poetical sides of philosophy and morals which 
suggested great if indefinite thoughts about God, — U TotU, 
le Seul NioBSsaire, la Seuh BorUS, — the human soul and the 

1886) ; Layiase, Hittoire de France, y. i. ; Herminjard, Correspondaruef etc, 
Tol. L, whioh contains sixteen letters written by her, and twelve addressed 
to her. 

^ Louise de Savoie, /mimaZ, 1476-1522 (in Miobaud et Ponjoulat, 
CoUeeUon, etc. v.). 

* Lefranc, " Margoerite de Kavarre et le platonisme de la Benaissance" 
(ToU. iTiii Hx. Bibliothi^ue de VicoU des CharUs, 1897-98). 


intimate union between the two, was perbape the abiding 
part of her ever-enlarging religious experienca Nicholas 
of Cusa, who tried to combine the old Scholastic with the 
new thoughts of the Benaissance, taught her much which 
she never unlearnt. She studied the Holy Scriptures 
carefully for herself, and was never weary of discussing 
with others the meaning of passages which seemed to be 
difficult. She listened eagerly to the preaching of Lefivre 
and Boussel, and carried on a long private correspondence 
with Bri^onnet, being passionately desirous, she said, to 
learn '' the way of salvation." ^ Both Luther and Calvin 
made a strong impression upon her, but their schemes of 
theology never attracted nor subjugated her intelligence. 
Her sympathies were drawn forth by their disdain of 
Scholastic Theology, by their denial of the supernatural 
powers of the priesthood, by their proclamation of the 
power and of the love of God, and by their conception 
that faith unites man with God — ^by all in their teaching 
which would assimilate with the Christian mysticism to 
which she had given herself with all her souL When 
her religious poems are studied, it will be found that she 
dwells on the infinite power of God, the mystical absorp- 
tion of the human life within the divine, and praises pas- 
sionately self-sacrifice and disdain of all earthly pleasurea 
She extols the Lord as the one and only Saviour and 
Intercessor. She contrasts, as Luther was accustomed to 
do, the Law which searches, tries, and punishes, with the 
Gospel which pardons the sinner for the sake of Christ 
and of the work which He finished on the Cross. She 
looks forward with eager hope to a world redeemed and 
regenerated through the Evangel of Jesus Christ She 
insists on justification by faith, on the impossibility of 
salvation by works, on predestination in the sense of 
absolute dependence on God in the last resort Works 
are good, but no one is saved by works ; salvation comes 
by grace, and " is the gift of the Most High God." She 
calls the Virgin the most blessed among women, because 

' Henni^jard, CcmMpondeMee^ ete. L 67. 


she had been chosen to be the mother of the ** Sovereign 
Saviour/' but refused her any higher place; and in her 
devotions she introduced an invocation of Our Lord 
instead of the Salve Begina. This way of thinking about 
the Blessed Virgin, combined with her indifTerence to the 
Saints and to the Mass, and her undisguised contempt 
for the more superstitious ecclesiastical ceremonies, were 
the chief reasons for the strong attacks made on Marguerite 
by the Faculty of Theology (the Sorbonue) of Paris. 
She cannot be called a Protestant, but she had broken 
completely with mediseval modes of religious life and 

Marguerite's letters contain such graphic glimpses, that 
it is possible to see her daily life, whether at Bourges, 
where she held her Court as the Duchess of Alenqon, or at 
N^rac, where she dwelt as the Queen of Navarre. Every 
hour was occupied, and was lived in the midst of company. 
Her CorUes and her poetry were for the most part written 
in her litter when she was travelling from one place to 
another. Her ** Household " was large even for the times. 
No less than one hundred and two persons — ladies, secre- 
taries, almoners, physicians, etc. — made her Court; and 
frequently many visitors also were present The whole 
"Household," with the visitors, met together every forenoon 
in one of the halls of the Palace, a room " well-paved and 
hung with tapestry," and there the Princess commonly 
proposed some text of Scripture for discussion. It was 
generally a passage which seemed obscure to Marguerite ; 
for example, "The meek shall inherit the earth." All 
were invited to make suggestions about its, meaning. The 
hostess was learned, and no one scrupled to quote the 
Scriptures in their original languages, or to adduce the 
opinions of such earlier Fathers as Augustine, Jerome, 
Chrysostoni, or the Gregories. If it surprises us to find 
one or other of the twenty vcUets de chambre, who were 
not menials and were privileged to be present, familiar 
with theology, and able to quote Greek and even Hebrew, 
it must not be forgotten that Marguerite's valets de chamhrt 


included distinguished Humanists and Beformers, to whom 
she extended the protective privilege of being enrolled in 
her " Household." When the weather permitted, the whole 
company went for a stroll in the park after the discussion, 
and then seated themselves near a " pleasant fountain " on 
the turf, ''so soft and delicate that they needed neither 
carpet nor cushions."^ There one of the ladies-in-waiting 
(thirty dames or demoiselles belonged to the '' Household ") 
read aloud a tale from the ff^tameron, not forgetting the 
improving conversation which concludes each story. This 
gave rise to an animated talk, after which they returned to 
the Palace. In the evening the " Household " assembled 
again in a hall, fitted as a simple theati*e, to witness one of 
the Comedies or Pastorals which the Queen delighted to 
write, and in which, through a medium as strange as the 
OanieSj she Inculcated her mystical Christianity, and gave 
expression to her longings for a reformation in the Church 
and society. Her Court was the precursor of the solans 
which in a later age exercised such a powerful influence on 
French political, literary, and social Ufa 

Marguerite is chiefly remembered as the author of the 
ffeptameron, which lAodem sentiment cannot help regarding 
as a collection of scandalous, not to say licentious, tales. 
The incongruity, as it appears to us, of making such tales 
the vehicle of moral and even of evangelical instruction, 
causes us frequently to forget the conversations which 
follow the stories — conversations which generally inculcate 
moral truths, and sometimes wander round the evangelical 
thought that man's salvation and all the fruits of holy 
living rest on the finished work of Christ, the only 
Saviour. " Voild, Mesdames, comme la foy du bon Comte ne 
fut vaincue par signes ne par mirades extSrieurs, sojchani trds 
bien que nous n*avons qu'un Sauveur, lequel en disant Con-- 
sumrruUum est, a monstrd qu*il ne laissoU point d, un autre 
suceesseur pour /aire notre saiu^" * So different waa the 
sentiment of the sixteenth from that of the twentieth 

^Heptamerony Preface. 
*IbUf Nonvelle xxziii. 

THB "group op MEAUX" 141 

oenttuy, that Jeanne d'Albret, puritan as she undoubtedly 
was, took pains that a scrupulously exact edition of her 
mother's ConUs should be printed and published, for all to 
read and profit by. 

The Beformers with whom Marguerite was chiefly 
associated were called the " group of Meauz.** Guillaume 
Briqonnet,^ Bishop of Meaux, who earnestly desired reform 
but dreaded revolution, had gathered roimd him a band of 
scholars whose idea was a reformation of the Church by the 
Church, in the Church, and with the Church. They were 
the heirs of the aspirations of the great conciliar leaders of 
the fifteenth century, such as Gerson, deeply religious men, 
who loi^ed for a genuine revival of faith and love. They 
hoped to reconcile the great truths of Christian dogma with 
the New Learning, and at once to enlarge the sphere of 
Christian intelligence, and to impregnate Humanism with 
Christian morality. 

The man who inspired the movement and defined its 
aims — ^" to preach Christ from the sources" — was Jacques 
Lef^vre d'Etaples (Stapulensis).' He had been a distin- 
guished Humanist, and in 1507 had resolved to consecrate 
his learning to a study of the Holy Scriptures. The first 
fruit of this resolve was a new Latin translation of the 
Epistles of St. Paul (1512), in which a revised version of 
the Yidgate was published along with the traditional text. 
In his notes he anticipated two of Luther's ideas — that 
works have no merit apart from the grace of God, and 
that while there is a Beal Presence of Christ in the 
Sacrament of the Supper, there is no transubstantiation. 
The Beformers of Meaux believed that the Holy Scriptures 

' Brifoimet belonged to ftn iUustriooB family. He was bom in 1470, 
destined for the Chnroh, was Archdeacon of Bheims, Bishop of Lod&ve in 
1504, 1607 got the rich Abbey of St. Germain-des-Pr^ at Paris, and became 
Bishop of Means in 1516. He at once began to refonn his diocese ; compelled 
his car^s to reside in their parishes ; divided the diocese into thirty-two dis- 
tricts, and sent to each of them a preacher for part of the year. 

* Cf. K. H. Graf, ''Jacobus Faber Stapalensis/' in the ZgUschrfflfOr dU 
hiUor%9chs thsdoffie for 1862, 1-86 ; Doumergue, Jean Calvin, L 79-112 ; 
Hermiigard, Corre^xnuUmee, i 8 «• 


should be in the hands of the Christian people, and Lef&vro 
took Jean de R^ly's version of the Bible, — itself a revision 
of an old thirteenth century French translation, — revised 
it, published the Gospels in June 1523, and the whole 
of the New Testament before the end of the year. The 
Old Testament followed in 1625. The book was eagerly 
welcomed by Marguerite, and became widely known and 
read throughout France. The Princess was able to write 
to Bri^onnet that her brother and mother were interested 
in the spread of the Holy Scriptures, and in the hope of a 
reform of the Church.^ 

Neither Leffevre nor Briqonnet was the man to lead a 
Beformation. The Bishop was timid, and feared the 
** tumult " ; and Lef^vre, like Marguerite, was a Christian 
mystic,* with all the mystic's dislike to change in outward 
and fixed institutiona More radical ideas were entering 
France from without. The name of Luther was known as 
early as 1518, and by 1520, contemporary letters tell us 
that his books were selling by the hundred, and that all 
thinking men were studying his opinions.' The ideas of 
Zwingli were also known, and appeared more acceptable to 
the advanced thinkers in France. Some members of the 
group of Meaux began to reconsider their position. The 
Pope's Bull excommunicating Luther in 1520, the result 
of the Di(3t of Worms in 1521, and the declaration of the 
Faculty of Theology of the University of Paris (the 
Sorbonne) against the opinions of Luther, and their vindica- 
tion of the authority of Aristotle and Scholastic Theology 
made it apparent that even modest reforms would not be 
tolerated by the Church as it then existed. The Parlefnent 

^ Hermi^jard, Correspottdanee, i. 78, 84, 85 n, 

* It does not seem to be generally known that Lef^vre travelled to Gennany 
in Bearoh of manuscripts of some of the earlier mystical writers, and that he 
published in 1513 the first printed edition of Hildegard of Bingen's Liber 
Qtu}9civia$ (Peltzer, Deutsche Myttik und deutache Ku7itt (Strassbuig, 189tt), 
p. 85), under the title Liber triwn virorum et irium epiriiualium virginum 
(Paris, 1518). 

* Hermim'ard, Oorreepcfndcmoe^ i 87 n., 47, 48 n., 88 and «•, 64, 

t( r^T^r^w^^ ^-n ««n.^<«r » 


of Paris (August 1521) ordered Luther's books to be given 

Lef^vre did not falter. He remained what he had 
been — a man on the threshold of a new era who refused 
to enter it. One of his fellow-preachers retracted his 
opinions, and began to write against his leader. The 
young and fiery Guillaume Farel boldly adopted the views 
of the Swiss Beformers. Briconnet temporised. He forbade 
the preaching of Lutheran doctrine within his diocese, 
and the circulation of the Beformer's writings ; bat he 
continued to protect Lef^vre, and remained true to his 

The energetic action of the Sorbonne and of the Pairle- 
metU of Paris showed the obstacles which lay in the path 
of a peaceful Beformation. The library of Louis de Berquin 
was seized and condemned (June 16th, 1523), and several 
of his books burnt in front of Ndtre Dame by the order of 
ParlemerU (August 8th). Berquin himself was saved by 
the interposition of the King.' Li March 1525, Jean 
Leclerc, a wool-carder, was whipt and branded in Paris ; 
and six months later was burnt at Metz for alleged out- 
rages on objects of reverence. The Government had to 
come to some decision about the religious question. 

Mai^erite could write that her mother and her 
brother were ** more than ever well disposed towards the 
reformation of the Church";^ but neither of them had 
her strong religious sentiment, and policy rather than con- 
viction invariably swayed their action. The Beformation 
promoted by Lef^vre and believed in by Marguerite was 
at once too moderate and too exacting for Francis L It 
could never be a basis for an alliance with the growing 
Protestantism of Germany, and it demanded a purity of 
individual life ill-suited either with the personal habits of 

^ JcwhmI (f im Bourgeois de Paris sous U rigne de Francois /. 161^16S6 
(P^urit, 1854), p. 104. 

'HermiigaTd, Corresipondanoet i. 158^ 

' Jownud dCvn Bourgeois^ etc. p. 169. 

* Haimii^'ard, Correspondanoef L 84, 105 ; of. 85 «• 



the King or with the manners of the French Court It is 
therefore not to be wondered that the policy of the 
Government of Francis L wavered between a negligent pro- 
tection and a stem repression of the French Beformers. 

§ 2. Attempts to repress the Movement for Seform. 

The years 1523-26 were full of troubles for France. 
The Italian war had been unsuccessful. Provence had 
been invaded. Francis i. had been totally defeated and 
taken prisoner at Pavia. Dangers of various kinds within 
France had also confronted the Government. Bands of 
marauders — les aventuriers * — ^had pillaged numerous dis- 
tricts; and so many conflagrations had taken place that 
people believed they were caused by emissaries of the 
public enemies of Francje. Louise of Savoy, the Queen- 
Mother, and Begcnt during her son's captivity in Madrid, 
had found it necessary to conciliate the formidable powers 
of the Parlement of Paris and of the Sorbonne. Measures 
were taken to suppress the printing of Lutheran and heret- 
ical books, and the Parlement appoint>ed a commission to 
discover, try, and punish heretics. The result was a some- 
what ineffective persecution.' The preachers of Meaux had 
to take refuge in Strassburg, and Lef^vre's translation of 
the Scriptures was publicly burnt. 

When the King returned from his imprisonment at 
Madrid (March 1525), he seemed to take the side of the 
Beformers. The Meaux preachers came back to France, 
and Lef^vre himself was made the tutor to the King's 
youngest son. In 1528-29 the great French Council of 
Sens met to consider the state of the Church. It reaffirmed 
most of the mediaeval positions, and, in opposition to the 
teachings of Protestants, declared the unity, infallibility, 
and visibility of the Church, the authority of Councils, 

^ The depredationfl of those bands of brigands are frequently referred to 
in the JownuU tFun Bourgeois de Paris, pp^ 119, 169, 166, 176, 186, 201, 
349, 267, 402, 196. 

' Gf. Journal (Fun BourgeoiSy etc. p. 276. 


the right of the Church to make canonical regulations, fasts, 
the celibacy of priests, the seven sacraments, the Mass, 
purgatory, the veneration of saints, the worship of images, 
and the Scholastic doctrines of free will and faith and 
worka It called on civil rulers to execute the censures 
of the Church on heretics and schismatics. It also 
published a series of reforms necessary — most of which 
were already contained in the canon law. 

While the Council was sitting, the Bomanists of France 
were startled with the news that a statue of the Blessed 
Virgin had been beheaded and otherwise mutilated. It 
was the first manifestation of the revolutionary spirit of 
the Beformation in France. The King was furious. He 
caused a new statue to be made in silver, and gave his 
sanction to the renewal of the persecutions (May 31st, 
1528). Four years later his policy altered. He desired 
alliances with the English and German Protestants ; one 
of the Beformers of Meaux preached in the Louvre during 
Lent (1533), and some doctors of the Sorbonne, who 
accused the King and Queen of Navarre of heresy, were 
banished from Paris. In spite of the ferment caused by 
the Evangelical address of Nicolas Cop, and the flight of 
Cop and of Calvin, the real author of the address, the King 
still seemed to favour reform. Evangelical sermons were 
again preached in the Louvre, and the King spoke of a 
conference on the state of religion within France. 

The affair of the Pkieards caused another storm. On 
the morning of Oct. 18th, 1534, the citizens of Paris found 
that broadsides or placards^ attacking in very strong lan- 
guage the ceremony of the Mass, had been affixed to the 
walls of the principal streets. These placards affirmed that 
the sacrifice of Christ upon the Cross was perfect and 
unique, and therefore could never be repeated ; that it was 
sheer idolatry to say that the corporeal presence of Christ 
was enclosed within the wafer, " a man of twenty or thirty 
years in a morsel of paste " ; that transubstantiatiou was a 
gross error; that the Mass had been perverted from its 
true meaning, which is to be a memorial of the sacrifice 



and death of our Lord ; and that the solemn ceremony had 
become a time " of bell-ringings, shoutings, singing, waving 
of lamps and swinging of incense pots, after the fashion 
of sorcerers." The violence of language was extreme. 
" The Pope and all his vermin of cardinals, of bishops, of 
priests, of monks and other hypocrites, sayers of the Mass, 
and all those who consent thereto," were liars and blas- 
phemers. The author of this broadside was a certain 
Antoine Marcourt, who had fled from France and taken 
refuge in Neuch&teL The audacity of the men who had 
posted the placards in Paris and in other towns, — Orleans, 
Blois, Amboise, — and had even fixed one on the door of 
the King's bedchamber, helped to rouse the Somanists to 
frenzy. The Parlement and the University demanded 
loudly that extreme measures should be taken to crush the 
heretics;^ and everywhere expiatory processions were 
formed to protest against the sacrilege. The King himself 
and the great nobles of the Court took part in one in 
January,^ and during that month more than thirty-five 
Lutherans were arrested, tried, and burnt. Several well- 
known Frenchmen (seventy-three at least), among them 
Clement Marot and Mathurin Cordier, fled the country, and 
their possessions were confiscated. 

After this outburat of persecution the King's policy 
again changed. He was once more anxious for an alliance 
with the Protestants of Germany. An amnesty was pro- 
claimed for all save the " Sacramentarians," i,e, the followers 
of ZwinglL A few of the exiled Frenchmen returned, 
among them Clement Marot. The Chancellor of France, 
Antoine du Bourg, went the length of inviting the Grerman 
theologians to come to France for the purpose of sharing in 
a religious conference, and adhered to his proposal in spite 

^ Journal ^un Bawrffeois, etc. : '* Fat sodh^ par denx trompettes et cri6 
au Palays sur la pierre de marbrOi que s'il y avoit penonne qui aoeot 
enseigner celuy ou ceulx qui avoient fisch^ les dictz placan, en r^T^lant en 
certitude, il leur seroit donn^ cent eficas par la cour " (p. 442). 

' Ibid, pp. 442-444. The Dauphin, the Dukes of Orleans and Angouldme, 
and a young German, Prince de Venddme, carried the four batons snpporting 
*'an beau oiel " oTer the Host. 


of the protests of the Sorbonne. But nothing came of 
it The German Protestant theologians refused to risk 
themselves on French soil; and the exiled Frenchmen 
mistrusted the King and his Chancellor. The amnesty, 
however, deserves remark, because it called forth the letter 
of Calvin to Francis I. which forms the " dedication " or 
preface to his Christian Institution, 

The work of repression was resumed with increased 
severity. Boyal edicts and mandates urging the extirpa- 
tion of heresy followed each other in rapid succession — 
Edict to the Parkment of Toulouse (Dec. 16th, 1538), 
to the Parlements of Toulouse, Bordeaux, and Eouen (June 
24th, 1539); a general edict issued from Fontainebleau 
(June 1st, 1540); an edict to the ParleTnent of Toulouse 
(Aug. 29th, 1542); mandats to the Parlements of Paris, 
Bordeaux, Dijon, Grenoble, and Rouen (Aug. 30th, 1542). 
The general Edict of Fontainebleau was one of exceptional 
severity. It was intended to introduce a more summary 
procedure in heresy trials, and enjoined officials to proceed 
against all persons tainted with heresy, even, against 
ecclesiastics or those who had the " benefit of clergy " ; the 
right of appeal was denied to those suspected ; negligent 
judges were threatened with the King's displeasure ; and the 
ecclesiastical courts were urged to show greater zeal, and to 
take advantage of the powers given to the civil courts. 
"Every loyal subject," the edict said, "must denounce 
heretics, and employ all means to root them out, just as all 
men are bound to run to help to extinguish a public confla- 
gration." This edict, slightly modified by the Parlement 
of Paris (July 1543) by enlarging the powers of the ecclesi- 
astical courts, remained in force in France for the nine 
following years. Yet in spite of its thoroughness, succeeding 
edicts and mandats declare that heresy was making rapid 
progress in France. 

The Sorbonne and the Parlements (especially those of 
Paris and Aix) urged on the persecution of the " Lutherans.'' 
The former drafted a series of twenty-five articles (a refuta- 
tion of the 1541 edition of Calvin's InstittUion), which were 


meant to assert concisely the dogma of the Charch, and to 
deny whatever the Beformers taught prejudicial to the 
doctrines and practices of the mediaeval Church. These 
articles were approved by the King and his Privy Council, 
who ordered them to be published throughout the whole 
kingdom, and gave instructions to deal with all who 
preached or taught anything contrary or repugnant to 
them. This ordinance was at once registered by the Parle- 
merU of Paris. Thus all the powers of the realm committed 
themselves to a struggle to extirpate the Beformed teaching, 
and were armed with a test which was at once clear and 
comprehensive. Not content with this, the Sorbonne began 
a list of prohibited books (1542—43) — a list containing the 
works of Calvin, Luther, Melanchthon, Clement Marot, and 
the translations of scripture edited by Bobert Estienne, 
and the Parlement issued a severe ordinance against all Pro- 
testant propaganda by means of printing or the selling of 
books (July 1542). 

These various ordinances for the extirpation of heresy 
were applied promptly and rigorously, and the fires of 
persecution were soon kindled all over France. The plcLce 
Maubert was the scene of the martyrdoms in Paris. 
There were no great auto-da f 68, but continual mention is 
made of burning two or three martyrs at once. Two 
acts of persecution cast a dark stain on the last years of 
Francis I. — the slaughter of the Waldenses of the Durance 
in 1545, and the martyrdom of the '' fourteen of Meaux.'' 

A portion of Provence, skirting the Durance where 
that river is about to flow into the Bhone, had been 
almost depopulated in the fourteenth century, and the land- 
owners had invited peasants from the Alps to settle within 
their territories. The incomers were Waldenses; their 
religion was guaranteed protection, and their industry and 
thrift soon covered the desolate region with fertile farms. 
When the Beformation movement had established itself in 
Germany and Switzerland, these villagers were greatly in- 
terested. They drew up a brief statement of what they 
believed, and sent it to the leading Beformers, accompanied 



by a number of questions on matters of religion. Tbey re- 
ceiyed long answers from Bucer and from Oecolampadius, 
and, having met in conference (Sept. 1532) at Angrogne in 
Piedmont, they drafted a simple confession of faith based 
on the replies of the Beformei-s to their questiona It was 
natural that they should view the progress of the Beforma- 
tion within France with interest, and that they shoidd con- 
tribute 600 crowns to defray the expense of printing anew 
translation of the Scriptures iuto French by Bobert Olivetan. 
Freedom to practise their religion had been granted for two 
centuries to the inhabitants of the thirty Waldensian villages, 
and they conceived that in exhibiting their sympathy with 
French Protestantism they were acting within their ancient 
rights. Jean de Roma, Inquisitor for Provence, thought 
otherwisa In 1532 he began to exhort the villagers to 
abjure their opinions ; and, finding his entreaties without 
effect, he set on foot a severe persecution. The Waldenses 
appealed to the King, who sent a commission to inquire into 
the matter, with the result that Jean de Boma was com- 
pelled to flee the country. 

The persecution was renewed in 1 5 3 5 by the Archbishop 
and ParlemerU of Aix, who cited seventeen of the people of 
Merindol, one of the villages, before them on a charge of 
heresy. When they failed to appear, the ParlemerU pub- 
lished (Nov. 18th, 1540) the celebrated ArrSt de Merindol, 
which sentenced the seventeen to be burnt at the stake. 
The Waldenses again appealed to the King, who pardoned 
the seventeen on the condition that they should abjure their 
heresy within three months (Feb. 8th, 1541). There was 
a second appeal to the King, who again protected the 
Waldenses ; but during the later months of 1541 the Parle- 
ment of Aix sent to His Majesty the false information that 
the people of Merindol were in open insurrection, and 
were threatening to sack the town of Marseilles. Upon 
this, Francis, urged thereto by Cardinal de Tournon, recalled 
his protection, and ordered all the Waldenses to be exter- 
minated (Jan. 1st, 1545). An army was stealthily 
organised, and during seven weeks of slaughter, amid all 


the accompanimentB of treachery and brutality, twenty-two 
of the thirty Waldensian villages were utterly destroy ed, 
between three and four thousand men and women were 
slain, and seven hundred men sent to the galleya Those 
who escaped took refuge in Switzerland^ 

The persecution at Meaux (1546) was more limited in 
extent, but was accompanied by such tortures that it formed 
a fitting introduction to the severities of the reign of 
Henri IL 

The Eeformed at Meaux had organised themselves into 
a congregation modelled on that of the French refugees in 
Strassburg. They had chosen Pierre Leclerc to be their 
pastor, and one of their number, £tienne Mangin, gave his 
house for the meetings of the congi*egation. The authorities 
heard of the meetings, and on Sept 8th, 1546, a sudden 
visit was made to the house, and sixty-one persons were 
arrested and brought before the Parkment of Paria Their 
special crime was that they had engaged in the celebration 
of the Lord's Supper. The sentence of the Court declared 
that the Bishop of Meaux had shown culpable negligence 
in permitting such meetings ; that the evidence indicated 
that there were numbers of '' Lutherans " and heretics in 
Meaux besides those brought before it, and that all such 
were to be sought out ; that all books in the town which 
concerned the Christian religion were to be deposited in the 
record-office within eight days ; that special sermons were 
to be delivered and expiatory processions organised ; and 
that the house of Etienne Mangin was to be razed to the 
ground, and a chapel in honour of the Holy Sacrament 
erected on the site. It condemned fourteen of the accused to 
be burnt alive, after having suffered the severest tortures 
which the law permitted ; five to be hung up by the armpits 
to witness the execution, and then to be scourged and im- 
prisoned ; others to witness the execution with cords round 
their necks and with their heads bare, to ask pardon for their 
crime, to take part in an expiatory procession, and to listen 

1 Bulldin de la SoeiMi de VHiOoirB d% ProUatantisme frvn^ for 1858, 
pp. 166jf. 


to a aermon on the adoration due to the Body of Christ 
present in the Holy Sacrament. A few, mostly women, 
were acquitted.^ 

Francis i. died in March 1547. The persistent perse- 
cution which had marked the later years of his reign had 
done httle or nothing to quench the growing Protestantism 
of France. It had only succeeded in driving it beneath 
the surface. 

Henry IL never indulged in the vacillating policy of his 
father. Firom the beginning of his reign he set himself 
resolutely to combat the Eefoimation. His favourite 
councillors — his all-powerful mistress, Diane of Poitiers ; his 
chief Minister, the Constable Montmorency, in high repute 
for his skill in the arts of war and of government ; the 
Guises, a great family, originally belonging to Lorraine, who 
had risen to power in France — were all strong supporters 
of the Boman Catholic religion, and resolute to destroy the 
growing Protestantism of France. The declared policy of 
the King was to slay the Bef ormation by attacking it through 
every form of legal suppression that coidd be devised. 

§ 3. Cha'nge in the Cha/racter of the Movement for Beform. 

The task was harder than it had been during the reign 
of Francis. In spite of the persecutions, the adherents of 
the new faith had gone on increasing in a wonderful way. 
Many of the priests and monks had been converted to Evan- 
gelical doctrines. They taught them secretly and openly ; 
and they could expose in a telling way the corruptions of 
the Church, having known them from the inside. School- 
masters, if one may judge from the arrSts of the Parlements, 
were continually blamed for dissuading their pupils from 
going to Mass, and for corrupting the youth by instructing 
them in the "false and pernicious doctrines of Geneva.'' 
Many Colleges were named as seed-beds of the Bef ormation 
— Angers, Bourges, Fontenay, La Bochelle, Loudun, Niort, 
Nimee, and Poitiers. The theatre itself became an agent 

> H. M. Bower, The FaurUen o/MeawB (London, 1894). 


for reform when the cormptions of the Church and the 
morals of the clergy were attacked in popular play& The 
refugees in Strassburg, Geneva, and Lausanne spared no 
pains to send the Evangelical doctrines to their countrymen. 
Ardent young Frenchmen, trained abroad, took their lives 
in their hand, and crept quietly through the length and 
breadth; of France. They met converts and inquirers in 
solitary suburbs, in cellars of houses, on highways, and by 
the rivera The records of the ecclesiastical police enable 
us to trace the spread of the Beformation along the great 
roads and waterways of France. The missioners changed 
their names frequently to elude observation. Some, with 
a daring beyond their fellows, did not hesitate to visit the 
towns and preach almost openly to the people. The propa- 
ganda carried on by colporteurs was scarcely less successful 
These were usually young men trained at Geneva or Strass- 
burg. They carried their books in a pack t)n their backs, 
and hawked them in vUIage and town, describing their con- 
tents, and making little sermons for the listeners. Among 
the notices of seizures we find such titles as the following: 
— Les Colloquies of Erasmus, La Fontaine de Vie (a selection 
of scriptural passages translated iuto French), the Idvre de 
vraye et par/aide oraison (a translation of extracts ftom 
Luther's writings), the CinquanteHietLxpsaumes, the CaUchisme 
de OerUve, PrUres ecclSsiastiques avecla manitre d*administrer 
les sacrements, an Alphahet chr^ien, and an Instruction 
chritienne pour les petits enfanJts, No edicts against printing 
books which had not been submitted to the ecclesiastical, 
authorities were able to put an end to this seci'et 

In these several ways the Evangelical faith was spread 
abroad, and before the death of Francis there was not a 
district in France with the single exception of Brittany 
which had not its secret Protestants, while many parts of 
the country swarmed with them. 


§ 4, Calvin and Jm Influence in France. 

The Beformation in France had been rapidly changing 
its character since 1536, the year in which Lef^vre died, 
and in which Calvin's Christian InstUviian was published. 
It was no longer a Christian mysticism supplemented by a 
careful study of the Scriptures ; it had advanced beyond 
the stage of individual followers of Luther or ZwingU ; it 
had become united, presenting a solid phalwQX to its foes ; it 
had rallied round a manifesto which was at once a com- 
pleted scheme of doctrine, a prescribed mode of worship, and 
a code of morals ; it had found a leader who was both a 
master and a commander-in-chief. The publication of the 
Christian Institution had efTected this. The young man 
whom the Town Council of Geneva could speak of as *' a 
certain Frenchman " (CkUlvs quidam) soon took a foremost 
place among the leaders of the whole Beformation move- 
ment, and moulded in his plastic hands the Beformation 
in France. 

Calvin's early life and his work in Geneva have 
already been described; but his special influence on 
France must not pass unnoticed.^ He had an extra- 
ordinary power over his co-religionists in his native land.' 
He was a Frenchman — one of themselves ; no foreigner 
speaking an unfamiliar tongue ; no enemy of the Fatherland 
to follow whom might seem to be unpatriotic. It is true 
that his fixed abode lay beyond the confines of France ; 
but distance, which gave him freedom of action, made him 

^ Cf. above, pp. 92 ff. What foUows on Calvin's influence on the Refor- 
mation in Fraooe has been borrowed largely from M, Henri Lemonnier, 
ffitioirede France, etc (Paris, 1903-4) V. i. pp. 881-888, ii. pp. 183-187, eto. ; 
only a Frenchman can describe it aod him sympathetically. 

' The Venetian Ambassador at the Coort of France, writing in 1561 to 
the Doge, says, "Your Serenity will hardly believe the influence and the 
great power which the principal minister of Geneva, by name Calvin, a 
Ftenchman *and a native of Picardy, possesses in this kingdom. He is a 
man of extraordinary authority, who by his mode of life, his doctrines and 
his writings, rises superior to all the rest" {CaZei\dar qf State Paptru 
Venetian, 2668-80, p. 823). 


the more esteemed. He was the apostle who wrote " to 
all that be in France, beloved of God, called to be 

While still a student, Calvin had shown that he 
possessed, besides a marvellous memory, an acute and pene- 
trating intellect, with a great facidty for assimilating ideas 
and modes of thought ; but he lacked what may be called 
artistic imagination,' and neither poetrj nor art 'seemed to 
strike any responsive chord in his souL His conduct was 
always straightforward, irreproachable, and dignified ; he was 
by education and breeding, if not by descent, the polished 
French gentleman, and was most at home with men and 
women of noble birth. His character was serious, with 
little playfulness, little vivacity, but with a wonderful 
power of sympathy. He was reserved, somewhat shy, 
slow to make intimate friends, but once made the friend- 
ships lasted for life. At all periods of age, boy, student, 
man of letters, leader of a great party, he seems to have 
been a centre of attraction and of deferential trust. The 
effect of this mysterious charm was felt by others besides 
those of his own age. His professor, Mathurin Cordier, 
became his devoted disciple. Melanchthon wished that 
he might die with his head on Calvin's breast Luther, 
in spite of his suspicion of everything that came from 
Switzerland, was won to love and trust him. And Knox, 
the most rugged and independent- of men, acknowledged 
Calvin as his master, consulted him in every doubt and 
difficulty, and on all occasions save one meekly followed 
his counsels. He loved children, and had them at his 
house for Christmas trees; but (and this is character- 
istically French) always addressed them with ceremonious 

> Galyin did not lack imagination. The sanctified imagination has neyer 
made grander or loftier flight than in the thought of the Pitrpom of Ood 
moving slowly down through the Ages, making for redemption and for the 
establislimeut of the Kingdom, which is the master-idea in the ChruHan 
Institution. It was de B^ze (Beza), not Calvin, who was the father of 
the seventeenth century doctrine of predestination, — a conception which 
differed from Calvin's as widely as the skeleton differs trom the man 
instinct with life and action. 


politeness, as if they were grown men and women deserving 
aa much consideration as himself. It was this trait that 
captivated de Bize when he was a boy of twelve. 

Calvin was a democrat intellectually and by silent 
principle. This appears almost everywhere in his private 
writings^ and was noted by such a keen observer as 
Tavannes. It was never more uDconsciously displayed 
than in the preface or dedication of the Christian 

''This preface, instead of pleading with the King on 
behalf of the Reformation, places the movement right before 
him, and makes him see it. Its tone throughout firm and 
dignified, calm and stately when Calvin addresses Francis 
L directly, more bitter and sarcastic when he is speaking 
of theologians, la pens^ et la forme du style toutes vibrarUes 
du ten biblique, the very simplicity and perfect frankness 
of the address, give the impression of one who is speaking 
on equal terms with his peer. All suggest the Christian 
democrat without a trace of the revolutionary." ^ 

The source of his power — logic impregnated by the 
passion of conviction — ^is so peculiarly French that perhaps 
only his countrymen can fully understand and appreciate it, 
and they have not been slow to do so. 

All these characteristic traits appealed to them. His 
passion for equality, as strong as the Apostle Paul's, com- 
pelled him to take his followers into his confidence, to 
make them apprehend what he knew to the innermost 
thoughts of. his heart. It forced him to exhibit the 
reasons for his faith to all who cared to know them, to 
arrange them in a logical order which would appeal to 
their understanding, and his passion of conviction assured 
him and them that what he taught was the very truth of 
God. Then he was a very great writer,* one of the founders 

1 Henri Lemoimier, Eistcire de France, etc. (Paris, 1903) V. i. 383. 

' "CalYin fat un trte grand ^rivain. Je dirais xnfime que ce fut le plus 
grand toivain da 16* ai^e si j'eatimais ploa qae je ne fais le style proprement 
dit . . . Encore est-il qa*il me fant bien reconnattre que le style de Calvin 
Mt de tons lea styles du 16* sitole celoi qui a le plus de style. . . . Beste 


of modem French prose, the most exquisite literary medium 
that exists, a man made to arrest the attention of the 
people. He wrote all his important works in French for 
his countrymen, as well as in Latin for the learned world. 
His language and style were fresh, clear, and simple ; with- 
out afifected elegance or pedantic display of erudition ; full of 
vigour and verve ; here, caustic wit which attracted ; there, 
eloquence which spoke to the hearts of his readers because 
it throbbed with burning passion and strong emotion. 

It is unlikely that all his disciples in France appreciated 
his doctrinal system in its details. The Christian InstittUion 
appealed to them as the strongest protest yet made against 
the abuses and scandals of the Roman Church, as contain- 
ing a code of duties owed to God and man, as exhibiting 
an ideal of life pure and lofty, as promising everlasting 
blessedness for the called and chosen and faithful ''It 
satisfied at one and the same time the intellects which 
demanded logical proof and the souls which had need of 

It has been remarked that Calvin's theology was less 
original and effective than his legislation or policy.^ The 
statement seems to overlook the peculiar service which was 
rendered to the Beformation movement by the Institutunk 
The Beformation was a rebellion against the external 
authority of the mediaeval Church ; but every revolt, even 
that against the most flagrant abuses and the most corrupt 
rule, carries in it seeds of evil which must be slain if any 
real progress is to be made. For it instinctively tends to 
sweep away all restraints — those that are good and 
necessary as well as those that are bad and harmful 
The leaders of every movement for reform have a harder 

qu'il parle Tadmirable prose, si olaire, limpide et faeUe, da 15* sltele, aveo 
ce quelque chose de plus ferme, de plus nourri et de plas viril que T^tude des 
classiques donne k oeuz qui ne poussent pas jusqu'k rimitation servile et k 
radmirature des menus jolia details. Rests qu*il parle la langue du 16* si^e 
aveo quelqnes qualit^s d4jk du 17*. C'est pr^is^ment oe qu'il a fait, etil 
est nn des bons, sinon des sublimes, fondateurs de la prose fran^aise " (Emile 
Faguet, SeizUmti SUele : Eludes LiUnnreB, pp. 188^9, Paris, 1898). 
* Canibridge MocUm Hiatcry, ii. 860. 


battle to fight against the revolutionaries in their following 

than against their avowed opponents. At the root of the 

Beformation of the sixteenth century lay an appeal from 

man to God — ^from the priest, granting or withholding 

absolution in the confessional, to God making the sinner, 

who turns from his sins and has faith in the person and 

work of Christ, know in his heart that he is pardoned ; from 

the decision of Popes and Councils to the decrees, of God 

revealed in His Holy Word. This appeal was in the 

nature of the case from the seen to the unseen, and therein 

lay the difficulty; for unless this unseen could be made 

visible to the eye of the intelligence to such a degree that 

the restraining authority which it possessed could impress 

itself on the will, there was risk of its proving to be no 

restraining authority whatsoever, and of men fancying that 

they had been left to be a law unto themselves What the 

Christian Institution did for the sixteenth century was to 

make the unseen government and authority of God, to which 

all must bow, as visible to the intellectual eye of faith as 

the mechanism of the mediaeval Church had been to the 

eye of sense. It proclaimed that the basis of all Christian 

faith was the Word of God revealed in the Holy Scriptures ; 

it taught the absolute dependence of all things on God 

Himself immediately and directly; it declared that the 

sin of man was such that, apart from the working of the 

free grace of God, there could be neither pardon nor 

amendment, nor salvation ; and it wove all these thoughts 

into a logical unity which revealed to the intellectual eye 

of its generation the " House of God not made with hands, 

eternal in the heavens." Men as they gazed saw that 

they were in the immediate presence of the authority of 

God Himself, directly responsible to Him ; that they could 

test " the Pope's House " by this divine archetyije ; that 

it was their duty to reform all human institutions, 

ecclesiastical or political, in order to bring them into 

harmony with the divine vision. It made men know that 

to separate themselves from the visible mediaeval Church 

was neither to step outside the sphere of the purpose of 



God making for their redemption, nor to free themselves 
from the duties which God requires of man. 

The work which Calvin did for his co-religionists in 
France was immense. He carried on a constant corre- 
spondence with them ; he sustained their courage ; he gave 
their faith a sublime exaltation. When he heard of a 
French Bomanist who had begun to hesitate, he wrote to 
him combining persuasion with instruction. He pleaded 
the cause of the Reformation with its nominal supportera 
He encouraged the weak. He sent letters to the persecuted. 
He forwarded short theological treatises to assist those 
who had got into controversies concerning their faith. He 
akdvised the organisation of congregations. He recommended 
energetic pastors. He warned slothful ministers. 

" We miist not think/' he says, " that our work is con* 
fined within such narrow limits that our task is ended when 
we have preached sermons ... it is our part *to maintai^i 
a vigilant oversight of those committed to our care, bnd 
take the greatest pains to guard from evil those whose 
blood will one day be demanded from us if they are lost 
through our negligence." ^ 

He answered question after question about the difficulty 
of reconciling the demands of the Christian life with what 
was required by the world around — a matter which pressed 
hard on the consciences of men and women who belonged 
to a religious minority in a great Soman Catholic kingdom. 
He was no casuist. He wrote to Madame de Cany, the 
sister of the Duchess d'fltampes, that "no one, great or 
small, ought to believe themselves exempt from sufifering 
for the sake of our sovereign King." He was listened to 
■ with reverence ; for ho was not a counsellor who advised 
others to do what he was not prepared to do himself. 
He could say, " Be ye followers of me, as I am of the 
Lord Jesus Christ." Frenchmen and Frenchwomen knew 
that the master whom they obeyed, the director they con- 
sulted, to whom they whispered the secrets of their souls, 

' La CaUchume/ranfais, p. 182. Opera, y. 819. 


lived the hardest and most ascetic life of any man in 
Surope, — scarcely eating, drinking, or sleeping; that his 
frail body was kept alive by the energy of his indomitable 

Frenchmen of varying schools of thought have not 
been slow to recognise the secret of the power of their great 
countryman. Jules Michelet says : 

''Among the martyrs, with whom Calvin constantly 
conversed in spirit, he became a martyr himself ; he lived 
and felt like a man before whom the whole earth disappears, 
and who tunes his last Psalm his whole eye fixed upon the 
eye of Grod, because he knows that on the following morning 
he may have to ascend the pyre." 

Ernest Kenan is no less emphatic : 

" It is surprising that a man who appears to us in his life 
and writings so unsympathetic should have been the centre 
of an immense movement in his generation, and that this 
harsh and severe tone should have exercised so great an 
influence on the minds of his contemporaries. How was it, 
for example, that one of the most distinguished women of 
her time, Ren^e of France, in her Court at Ferrara, sur- 
rounded by the flower of European wits, was captivated by 
that stern master, and by him drawn into a course that 
must have been so thickly strewn with thorns ? This kind 
of austere seduction is exercised only by those who work 
with real conviction. Lacking that vivid, deep, sympathetic 
ardour which was one of the secrets of Luther's success, 
lacking the charm, the perilous, languishing tenderness of 
Francis de Sales, Calvin succeeded, in an age and in a 
country which called for a reaction towards Christianity, 
simply because he was the most Christian man of his 

Thus it was that all those in France who felt the need 
of intimate fellowship with God, all to whom a religion, 
which was at once inflexible in matters of moral living and 
which appealed to their reasoning faculties, was a necessity, 
hailed the Christian Institution as the clearest manifesto 
of their faith, and grouped themselves round the young 
author (Calvin was barely twenty-six when be wrote it) as 


their leader. Those also who suffered under the pressure 
of a despotic government, and felt the evils of a society 
constituted to uphold the privileges of an aristocracy, 
leamt that in a neighbouring country there was a dty 
which had placed itself under the rule of the Word oi 
God ; where everyone joined in a common worship attractive 
from its severe simplicity ; where the morals, public and 
private, were pure; where the believers selected their 
pastors and the people their rulers; where there were 
neither masters nor subjects; where the ministers of 
religion lived the lives of simple laymen, and were dis- 
tinguished from them only by the exercise of their sacred 
service. They indulged in the dream that all France 
might be fashioned after the model of Oeneva. 

Mauy a Frenchman who was dissatisfied with the 
condition of things in France, but had come to no personal 
decision to leave the mediaeval Church, could not help 
contrasting what he saw around him with the life and 
aspiration of those ''of the religion,''^ as the French 
Protestants began to be called. They saw themselves 
confronted by a religion full of mysteries inaccessible to 
reason, expressing itself even in public worship in a 
language unintelligible to most of the worshippers, full of 
pomp, of luxury, of ceremonies whose symbolical meaning 
had been forgotten. They saw a clergy commonplace and 
ignorant, or aristocratic and indifferent ; a nobility greedy 
and restless ; a Court whose luxurious display and scandals 
were notorious; royal mistresses and faithless husbands 
and wives. Almost everywhere we find a growing tendency 
to contrast the purity of Protestantism and the corruption 
of Boman Catholicism. It found outcome in the famous 
scene in the ParkmerU of Paris (1559), when Antoine 
de Bourg, son of a former Chancellor, advocated 
the total suspension of the persecution against those 
"who were called heretics," and enforced his opinion by 
contrasting the blasphemies and scandals of the Court 

^ The term was adopted from the edicts, ** ladite religion pr^tendae 
riform^e," with the qualifying adjectives left out. 


with the morality and the purity of the lives of those who 
were being sent to the stake, — a speech for which he after- 
wards lost his lifa^ 

It was this growing united Protestantism which Henry 
n. and his advisers had determined to crush by the action 
of the l^islative authority. 

§ 5. Persecution under Hewry IL* 

The repressive legal measures introduced by Frands i. 
were retained, and a new law against blasphemy (pre- 
pared, no doubt, during the last days of Francis) was 
published five days after the King's death (April 5 th, 
1547)l But more was believed to be necessary. So a 
series of edicts, culminating in the Edict of Chateau- 
briand, were published, which aimed at uniting all 

^ Henri Lemounier, Hutoire de Fra/nee, etc. (Paris, 1908) V. ii. 187. 

* SouBCES in addition to those mentioned on p. 136 : LeUres vnidiUs df 
Diame de PaitierSf publUes avec une introduction et dea notes par G. GnifTrey 
(Paris, 1866) ; Mimoires de Oa$pard de Saulx-TavanneSt 1580-78 (published 
in the CdUelion of Miehaud and PaujouUU, viii.) ; Mimoires de Francois de 
Ouite (in the same collection, vi.) ; Lettres de Catherine de Midicia and 
PajriersiTitai du Cardinal de Oranvelle (in the Collection dea Documents 
inSdits de I'Hiatoire de France) ; Lettrea d'Antoine de Bourbon et de Jeanne 
d^AXbret (in the publications of the Soci^ de VBiatoire de France) ; Lea 
(Ewvrea eompliiea de Pierre de BourdeilUf Seigneur de Brant&me (edit by 
L. Lalanne for the Soci^ de VHistoirt de France , important for the persons 
and morals of the times) ; G. Weiss, La Chambre ardente^ H^ide aur la liberty 
deGonadenee en France, aoua Frangoia I. et Henri II. 1640-60 {Vana, 1889). 
Layaid, Diapatehea of Michele Suriano and Marcantonio Barbara, Venetiofn 
AwJbaaaadora at the Court of France (Lymington, 1891, pub. by the 
Huguenot Society of London), Teulet, Belationa politique de la France et de 
VEspagpM avec V^eosae (Paris, 1862) ; and Papiera di'tat relatifaa VHistoire 
de Vicoaae {Bannatyne Clvb^ Paris, 1851) ; Correapondance du CardincU de 
QrwmctUe (Brussels, 1877-96) ; Calendar of State Papera, Venetian, 1668-80 
(London, 1890, etc.) 

Latbr Books in addition to those mentioned on p. 186 : A« de Ruble, 
U TraiU de Cateau-Cambr^aia (Paris, 1889) ; A. W. Whitehead, Gaapard 
Ccligny, Admiral of France (Londou, 1905) ; the Bulletin hiatorigue et 
littiraira de Chiatoire du protentantiame franfaia, edited by Weiss, is a 
mine of information on all* matters connected with the Reformation in 
Fnnoe. A.'de Ruble, AnUnne de Bourbon et Jearme d^Albret (Paris, 1881-82), 
and Le Colloque de Poiaay (Paris, 1889) ; F. Decrue, Anna de Montmoreney 
(Pins, 1886-89). 

f 1 


the forces of the kingdom to extirpate the Seformed 

On October 8th, 1547, a second criminal court was 
added to the ParlemerU of Paris, to deal solely with cases 
of heresy. This was the famous Chambre Ardenie, It 
was ordered to sit continuously, even during the ordinary 
Parliamentary vacancies in August and September; and 
its first session lasted from Dec. 1547 to Jan. 1550, dur- 
ing which time it must have passed more than five hundred 
judgments. The clergy felt that this special court took 
from them one of their privileges, the right of trying all 
cases of heresy. They petitioned against it A com- 
promise was arranged (Edict of Nov. 19th, 1549), by 
which all cases of simple heresy {eas eammuns) were to 
be sent to the ecclesiastical courts, while cases of heresy 
accompanied by public scandal (eas priviUgU$) were to be 
judged in the civil court& In practice it usually happened 
that all cases of heresy went first before the ecclesiastical 
courts and, after judgment there, those which were believed 
to be attended by public scandal (the largest number) 
were sent on to the civil courts. These measures were not 
thought sufiQcient, and the Edict of Chateaubriand (June 
27 th, 1551) codified and extended all the various legal 
measures taken for the defence of the Boman CSatholio 

The edict was lengthy, and began with a long preamble, 
which declared that in spite of all measures of repression, 
heresy was increasing ; that it was a pestilence " so contagious 
that it had infected most of the inhabitants, men, women, and 
even little children, in many of the towns and districts of the 
kingdom," and asked every loyal subject to aid the Govern- 
ment in extirpating the plagua It provided that, as beforOp 
all cases of simple heresy should be judged in the ecclesi- 
astical courts, and that heresy accompanied with publio 
scandal should be sent to the civil courts of the Parlements, 
It issued stringent regulations about the publication and 
sale of books ; forbidding the introduction into France of 
volumes from Protestant countries ; forbidding the printing 


of books which had not passed the censor of the Faculty 
of Theology, and all books published anonymously; and 
ordering an examination of all printing houses and book- 
shops twice in the year. Private persons who did not 
inform against heretics were liable to be considered 
heretics themselves, and punished as such ; and when they 
did denounce them they were to receive one-third of 
the possessions of the persons condemned. Parents were 
chained " by the pity, love, and charity which they owed 
to their children," not to engage any teachers who might 
be ** suspect " ; no one was permitted to teach in school or 
college who was not certified to be orthodox ; and masters 
were made responsible for their servants. Intercourse 
with those who had taken refuge in Geneva was prohibited, 
and the goods of the refugees were confiscated. All 
Catholics, and more especially persons of rank and in 
authority, were required to give the earnest example of 
attending carefully to outward observances of religion, and 
in particular to kneel in adoration of the Host. 

The edict was registered on Sept. 3rd, 1551, and 
immediately put in force. Six years later, the King had 
to confess that its stringent provisions had failed to arrest 
the spread of the Protestant faith. He proposed to 
establish the Inquisition in France, moved thereto by the 
CSardinal of Lorraine and Pope Paul rv. ; and was prevented 
only by the strenuous opposition of his Parlement} He 
had to content himself with issuing the Edict of Compi^gne 
(1567), which, while nominally leaving trials for heresy 
in the hands of the ecclesiasticid courts, practically handed 

> The FarlemmUi were the highest jndioial oourts in France. By hi the 
most important was the ParlemetU of Paris, whose jariadiction extended oyer 
Pieatdie, Champagne, I'lle-de-France, TCrl^nais, Maine, Touraine, A^jon, 
PMton, Annis, Berri, La Bourbonnais, Anyergne, and La Harehe — 
almost the half of France. The other ParUmmUs in the time of Henry ii, 
w«te those of Normandy, Brittany, Boigundy, Dauphin6, ProYence, 
LsDgaedoc, Onyenne, and, np to 1 559, Chamheiy and Tnrin. The PariemenU 
«n frequently mentioned nnder the names of the towns in which they 
met ; thus the ParUment of Kormandy is called the ParlemeiU of Ronen i 
tbat of ProTsnoe, the ParlemeiU of Aix ; that of Langnedoo, the PtirUmsrU 


them over to the civil courts, where the judges were not 
allowed to inflict any lesser punishment than death. They 
were permitted to increase the penalty by inflicting torture, 
or to mitigate it by strangling the victims before burning 

Armed with this l^tslation, the work of hunting out 
the Beformed was strenuously carried on. Certain prisons 
were specially reserved for the Protestant martyrs — ^the 
Gonciergerie, which was part of the building of the Palace, 
and the Grand Ch&telet, which faced it on the opposite 
bank of the Seina They soon overflowed, and suspects 
were conflned in the Bastille, in the Petit Cbatelet, and 
in episcopal prisons. The cells of the Conciergerie were 
below the level of the river, and water oozed from the 
walls; the Grand Ch&telet was noted for its terrible 
dungeons, so small that the prisoner could neither stand 
upright nor lie at full length on the floor. Diseases 
decimated the victims; the plague slew sixty who were 
waiting for trial in the Grand Ch&telet in 1547. Few 
were acquitted; almost all, once arrested, suffered death 
and tortura^ 

§ 6. The Organisation of the French Protestant Chiireh. 

It was during these years of terrible persecution that 
the Protestant Church of France organised itself — ^feeling 
the need for unity the better to sustain the conflict in 
which it was engaged, and to assist its weaker members. 
Calvin was unwearied in urging on this work of organisa- 
tion. With the flre of a prophet and the foresight of a 

^ Wein, La Chamhr$ a/rdenU^ itude 9ur la UberU de eoneoience en Fnmeef 
sous Franqcta I, et Henri II,, 164OS0 (PurU, 1889), lb yeiy yaloable from 
the ooUeotioii of docmnents which it oontains. Crespin's HUUrire de» 
martyn, etc., when tested by the official doomneDts now acoearible, has been 
foond to be almost invariably correct, and without exaggeration. Weiss, 
<<nne Semaine de la Chambre ardente" (1-8 Oct. 1549), in the BiU/eHn 
hidorique et lUUraire de la eoeUU de Vhieioirt du proteetaniieme franqaie Utt 
1899 ; aad Iha cinq eeeoliers eortis de Lofiuanne hrulet a Lffon (Genera, 


statesman he insisted on the necessity of unity daring the 
storm and strain of a time of persecution. He bad 
ab:ead7 shown what form the ecclesiastical organisation 
ought to take.^ He proposed to revive the simple three- 
fold ministry of the Church of the early centuries — a 
congregation ruled by a bishop or pastor, a session of 
elders, and a body of deacona This was adopted by the 
French Protestanta A group of believers, a minister, 
a ** consistory " of elders and deacons, regular preaching, 
and the sacraments duly administered, made a Church 
properly constituted. The minister was the chief; he 
preached; he administered the sacraments; he presided 
at the '' consistory." The '' consistory " was composed of 
elders charged with the spiritual oversight of the com- 
munity, and of deacons who looked after the poor and 
the sick. The elders and the deacons were chosen by 
the members of the congr^ation; and the minister by 
the elders and the deacons. An organised Church did 
not come into existence all at once as a rule, and a 
distinction was drawn between an iglise planUe, and an 
^liae dressie. The former was in an embryonic state, with 
a pastor, it might be, but no consistory ; or it might be 
only a group of people who welcomed the occasional 
services of a wandering missioner, or held simple services 
without any definite leader. 

The year 1555 may be taken as the date when 
French Protestantism began to organise Churches. It is 
true that a few had been established earlier — at Meaux 
in 1546 and at Nimes in 1547, but the congregations 
had been dispersed by persecution. Before 1555 the 
Protestants of France had been for the most part solitary 
Bible students, or little companies meeting together for 
common worship without any organisation. 

Paris set the exampla A small company of believers 
had been accustomed to meet in the lodging of the Sieur 
de la Ferriere, near the Pr^-aux-Clerca The birth of a 
child hastened matters. The father explained that he 

^InMmHo OhriiHaina Maigianis, iy. iU. It. 


could not go outside Franoe to seek a pure baptism, anl 
that his conscience would not pennit his child to be 
baptized according to the rites of the Boman Church. 
After prayer the company resolved to constitute them- 
selves into a Church. Jean le Maqon was called to be 
the minister or pastor ; elders and deacons were chosen ; 
and the organisation was complete.^ It seemed as if all 
Protestant France had been waiting for the signal, and 
organised Churches spi*ang up everywhere. 

Crespin names thirteen Churches, completely organised 
in the manner of the Church of Paris, founded between 
1656 and 1567 — Meaux, Poitiers, Angers, les lies de 
Saintonge, .^^n, Bourges, Issoudun, Aubigny, Blois, Tours, 
Lyon, Orl^ns, and Bouen. He adds that there were 
others. Documentary evidence now available enables us 
to give thirty-six more, all dress^es, or completely organised, 
with a consistory or kirk-session, before 1560. One 
hundred and twenty pastors were sent to France from 
Geneva before 1567. The history of these congregations 
during the reign of Henry n. was full of tragic and 
dramatic incidents.' They existed in the midst of a 
population which was for the most part fanatically 
Bomanist, easily excited by priests and monks, who poured 
forth violent addresses from the pulpits of neighbouring 
churches. Law-courts, whether in the capital or in the 
provinces, the public officials, all loyal subjects of the 
King, were invited,, commanded by the Edict of Chateau- 
briand, to ferret out and hunt down those suspected of 
Protestant sympathiea To fail to make a reverence when 
passing a crucifix, to speak unguardedly against an eccle- 
siastical ceremony, to exhibit the slightest sympathy for 
a Protestant martyr, to be found in possession of a 
book printed in Geneva, was sufficient to provoke a 

1 Atbanase Coqnerel fils, Prieis de Vhistoire de Figiiae rifwmie de ParU 
rParin, 1862) — yaluable for the numerous official documents in the 

* Ajitoine de Chandieu, ffistaire dee penicuticne §t martyn de F^gliee de 
Ptirie, depute Van 16S7 (Lyons, 1568). 


denunciation, an arrest, a trial which must end in torture 
And death. Protestants were compelled to worship in 
ceUars, to creep stealthily to their united devotions ; like 
the early Christians during the persecutions under Decius or 
Diocletian, they had to meet at midnight ; and these mid- 
night assemblies gave rise to the same infamous reports 
about their character which the Jews spread abroad 
rq;arding the secret meetings of the Christians of the 
first three centuries.^ Every now and then they 
were discovered, as in the incident of the Rue Saint- 
Jacques in Paris, and wholesale arrests and martyrdoms 

The organisation of the faithful into Churches had 
done much for French Protestantism in bestowing upon 
them the power which association gives; but more was 
needed to weld them into one. In 1558, doctrinal difiPer- 
encee arose in the congregation at Poitiers. The Church 
in Paris was appealed to, and its minister, Antoine de 
Chandieu, went to Poitiers to assist at the celebration of 
the Holy Supper, and to heal the dispute. There, it is 
said, the idea of a Confession of Faith for the whole 
Church was suggested. Calvin was consulted, but did 
not approve. Notwithstanding, on May 25tb, 1559, a 
number of ministers and elders, coming from all parts of 
France, and representing, according to a contemporary 
document whose authority is somewhat doubtful, sixty-six 
Churches,' met in Paris for conferenca Three days were 
spent in deliberations, under the presidency of Morel, one 
of the Parisian ministers. This was the First National 
Synod of the French Protestant Church. It compiled a 
Confession of Faith and a Book of Discipline. 

* (Swem compUteB de Pierre de BourdeUle, Seigneur de BranUhne, edited 
by L. Ldanne for the Soci4t4 de VHietoire de France (11 yoIb., Patib, 1864- 
S2), iz. 161-42. 

* It is more probable that only twelve Churches were represented — Paris, 
Salnt-Ld, Bonen, Dieppe^ Angers, Orleans, Tours, Poitien, Salutes, 
Marennes, Ohfttelleraulty' and Saint-Jean-d'Angely. H. Dieterlen, La 
Spude g6tUraie de Parie^ 1669 (Montaaban, 1878) : this was published as a 
thesis for the Theologioal Faculty (Protestant) of Montauban. 


The Confession of Faith ^ {Confemon de Fai/aite cCun 
oommun accord par les Frangois, qui desirent vivre selon la 
puretd de V&vangUe de notre Seigneur Jieus Christ) consists 
of forty articles. It was revised more than once by 
subsequent Synods, but may still be called the Confession 
of the French Protestant Church. It was based on a 
short Confession drafted by Calvin in 1567, and embodied 
in a letter to the King on behalf of his persecuted 
subjecta '' It seemed useful/' one of the members of the 
Synod wrote to Calvin, ''to add some articles to your 
Confession, and to modify it sUghtly on some pointa" 
Probably out of deference to Calvin's objection to a creed 
for the whole Church, it was resolved to keep it secret for 
some time. The resolution was in vain. The Confession 
was in print, and known before the end of 1559. 

The Book of Discipline {Discipline ecclSsiastique des 
4glises riform4es de France) regulated the organisation and 
the discipline of the Churchea It was that kind of 
ecclesiastical polity which has become known as 
Presbyterian, but which might be better called Conciliar. 
A council called the Consistory, consisting of the minister 
or ministers, elders, and deacons, ruled the congregation. 
Congregations were formed into groups, over which was 
the Colloquy, composed of representatives from the 
Consistories; over the Colloquies were the Provincial 
Synods; and over all the General or National Synod. 
Rules were laid down about how discipline was to be 
exercised. It was stated clearly that no Church could 
claim a primacy over the other& All ministers were 
required to sign the Confession of Faith, and to acknow- 
ledge and submit to the ecclesiastical discipline' 

^ The Confession will be found in SchafT, The Creeds of the Evangelieal 
Protestant Churches (London, 1877), pp. 856 ff. ; MuUer, Die Bekenntnis- 
schriften der reformierUn Kirche (1908), p. 221 ; the yarious texts are 
disonssed at p. xxxiii. 

' The Consistories sometimes condescended to details. In the calmer 
days after the Edict of Nantes, the pastor and Consistory of Montanban 
thought that the arrangement of Madame de Mornay's hair was hop 
mondaine : Madame argued with them in a spirited way ; of. Mimoirts de 


It is interesting to see how in a country whose civil 
role was becoming gradually more absolutist, this ** Church 
under the Cross" framed for itself a government which 
reconciled, more thoroughly perhaps than has ever been 
done since, the two principles of popular rights and 
supreme central control Its constitution has spread to 
Holland, Scotland, and to • the great American Churches. 
Their ecclesiastical polity came mudi more from Paris 
than from Geneva. 

§ 7. Bectction against PersectUion. 

An attentive study of the sources of the history of the 
period shows that the excessive severity of King and 
Court towards Protestants had excited a fairly wide- 
spread reaction in favour of the persecuted, and had 
also impelled the King to action which was felt by many 
to be unconstitutional. This sympathy with the persecuted 
and repugnance to the arbitrary exercise of kingship did 
much to mould the Huguenot movement which lay in the 
immediate future. 

The protests against the institution of the Chambre 
Ardente^ the refusal of the ParUmerU of Paris to register 
the edict establishing the Inquisition in France, and the 
hesitancy to put in execution extraordinary powers bestowed 
on French Cardinals for the punishing of heretics by the 
Bull of Pope Paul iv. (Feb. 26th, 1557), may all be ascribed 
to the jealousy with which the Courts, ecclesiastical and 
civil, viewed any interference with their privileged jurisdic- 
tion. But the Edict of Chateaubriand (1661), with its 
articles declaring the unwillingness or negligence shown by 
public officials in finding out and punishing heretics, making 
provisions against this, and ordaining that none but persons 
of well-known orthodoxy were to be appointed magistrates 
(Art& 23, 28, 24), confessed that there were many even 
among those in office who disliked the policy of persecution. 

Madams du PUms-Afomay {SoeiiU de FSidoire de Fra/nee, Paris, 1868-69), 
I 270-810. 


Contemporary official documents confirm this tmwillingnesa. 
We hear of municipal magistrates intervening to protect 
their Protestant fellow-citizens from punishment in the 
ecclesiastical courts; of town's police conniving at the 
escape of heretics; of a procurator at law who was 
suspended from office for a year for such connivance ; ^ and 
of civil courts who could not be persuaded to pass sentences 
except merely nominal one& 

The growing discontent at the severe treatment of the 
persecuted Protestants made itself manifest, even within 
the Parlernent of Paris, so long notorious for its persecuting 
zeaL This became evident when the criminal court of the 
ParlemerU (la Toumelle, 1559) commuted a sentence of 
death passed on three Protestants into one of banishmisnt. 
The violent Romanists protested against this, and demanded 
a meeting of the whole Parlement to fix its mode of 
judicial action. At this meeting some of the members 
— ^Antoine Fum4e, du Faur, Viole, and Antoine du Bourg 
(the son of a Chancellor in the days of Francis i.) — spoke 
strongly on behalf of the Protestants. They pleaded that 
a space of six months after trial should be given to the 
accused to reconsider their position, and that, if they 
resolve to stand fast in the faith, they should be allowed to 
withdraw from the kingdom. Their boldness encouraged 
others. The Cardinal Lorraine and the Constable 
Montmorency dreaded the consequences of prolonged 
discussion, and communicated their fears to the King. 
Henry, accompanied by the Cardinals of Lorraine and of 
Guise, the Constable, and Francis, Duke de Ouise, entered 
the hall where Parkmenl sat, and ordered the discussion 
to be continued in his presence. The minority were 
not intimidated. Du Faur and Yiole demanded a total 
cessation of the persecution pending the summoning of a 
Council Du Bourg went further. He contrasted the 
pure lives and earnest piety of the persecuted with the 
scandals which disgraced the Roman Church and the Court. 
" It is no light matter," he said, '' to condemn to the stake 

' BtUletin de la aoeUU de Vhitt, duproUatOTUimM/ranipaiaf 1864, p. 24. 


men who invoke the nieane of Jesus in the midst of the 
flames." The King was furious. He ordered the arrest 
of du Bourg and du Faur on the spot, and shortly after- 
wards Fumde and La Porte were also sent to the Bastile. 
This arbitrary seizure of members of the Parlement of Paris 
may be said to mark the time when the Protestants of 
France began to assume the form of a political as well as 
of a religious party. At this anxious juncture Henry ii. 
met his death, on June 30th, by the accidental thrust of a 
lance at a tournament held in honour of the approaching 
marriage of his daughter Elizabeth with Philip of Spain. 
He lingered till July 10th, 1559. 

I 8. The liigher Aristocracy won for (he Se/ormcUion. 

When the lists of Protestants who suffered for their 
faith in France- or who were compelled to take refuge in 
Greneva and other Protestant towns are examined and 
analysed, as they have been by French archaeologists, it is 
found that the great number of martyrs and refugees were 
artisans, tradesmen, farmers, and the like.^ A few names 
of ** notables " — a general, a member of the Parletneni of 
Toulouse, a " gentleman " of Limousin — are found among 
the martyrs, and a much larger proportion among the 
fugitives. The names of members of noble houses of 
France are conspicuous by their absence. This does not 
necessarily mean that the new teaching had not found 
acceptance among men and women in the upper classes of 
French society. The noble of the sixteenth century, so 
long as he remained within his own territory and in his 
cbHteau, was almost independent. He was not subject to 
the provincial tribunals. Protestantism had been spreading 
among such. We hear of several high-born ladies present 
in the congregation of three or four hundred Protestants 
who were surrounded in a large house in the Bue St. 
Jacques (Sept. 4th, 1558), and who were released. Ben^e, 

^ Haoser, '' La R^forme et lea classes populaires en France au zvi* sitele ** 
IB the JUvit4 tThigt. mod, et eotUemp. I (1899-1900). 


daughter of Louis xii., Duchess of Ferraia, had declared 
herself a Protestant, and had been visited by Calvin as 
early as 1535.^ Francis d'Andelot, the youngest of the 
three Chatillons, became a convert during his imprisonment 
at Melun (1551-56). His more celebrated brother, Gaspard 
de Coligny, the Admiral of France, became a Protestant 
during his imprisonment after the fall of St. Quentin 
(1568).' De B^ze (Beza) tells us that as early as 1665, 
Antoine de Bourbon, titular King of Navarre in right of 
his wife Jeanne d'Albret, and next in succession to King 
Henri IL and his sons, had the new faith preached in the 
chapel at Nerac, and that be asked a minister to be sent 
to him from Geneva. His brother Louis, Prince of Cond^, 
also declared himself on the Protestant side. The wives 
of the brothers Bourbon, Jeanne d'Albret and El^nore de 
Boye, were more determined and consistent Protestants 
than their husbands. The two brothers were among those 
present at the assemblies in the Fr^-aux-Clercs, where for 
five successive evenings (May 13—17) more than five 
thousand persons met to sing Clement Marot's Psalms.' 
Calvin wrote energetically to all these great nobles, urging 
them to declare openly on the side of the Gospel, and 

^ The best book on Ben^ U Bodocauchi, EmSe de F^unee, ducKes$e de 
F^rrare (1896). 

*For the ChatiUon brothers, see Whitehead, Gcb^pard de CoUgny^ 
Admiral qf France (London, 1905). 

* The singing of Clement Marot's version of the Psalms was not dis- 
tinctively Protestant. The first edition of the translation, including thirty 
Psalms, ap{K>ared in Paris in 1541 and in Geneva in 1542. The Geneva 
edition had an appendix, entitled La manUre d'adminisirer lee tacremente 
telon la eoutume de I'^/lise anciewie et eomme en V observe d OetUve, and was 
undoubtedly a Prutestant book ; but the Paris edition contained instead 
rhymed vei-sions of the Lord's Prayer, of the Apostles' Creed, and of the 
angel's salutation to the Virgin. The book was a great favourite with 
Francis i., who is said to have sung some of the Psalms on his deathbed. It 
was very popular at the Court of Henri ii., where it became fashionable for 
the courtiers to select a favourite Psalm, which the King permitted them 
to call "their own." Henri's "own " was Ps. xUi., Comme un eerf aUiri 
brame apree Veau eourarUe. He was a great huntsman. Catherine de 
Medici's was Ps. vi. The Psalm -singing at the Pr^-auz-Clercs, however, 
was regarded as a manifestation against the Court, and d*Andelot was im- 
prisoned for his persistent attendance. 


protect their brethren in the faith less able to defend 

§ 9. Frwnce nUed by the Ouues} 


The successor of Henry IL was his son Francis n., who 

was fifteen years of age, and therefore entitled by French 

law to role in his own name. He was a youth feeble in 

mind and in body, and devotedly attached to his young and 

accomplished wife, Mary Queen of Scots. She believed 

naturally that her husband could not do better than 

entrust the government of the kingdom to her uncles, 

Charles the Cardinal of Lorraine, and Francis the Duke de 

Guisa The Cardinal had been Henry n.'s most trusted 

Minister; and his brother was esteemed to be the best 

soldier in France. When the Parlement of Paris, according 

to ancient custom, came to congratulate the King on his 

succession, and to ask to whom they were to apply in 

affairs of State, they were told by the King that they were 

to obey the Cardinal and the Duke ''as himself." The 

Constable de Montmorency and the favourite, Diane de 

Poitiers, were sent from the Court, and the Queen-Mother, 

Catherine de' Medici, that " shopkeeper's daughter," as the 

young Queen called her, found herself as devoid of influ^ 

ence as she had been during the lifetime of her husband. 

The Cardinal of Lorraine had been the chief adviser of 
that policy of extirpating the Protestants to which the late 
King had devoted himself, and it was soon apparent that 

1 The family of Ouise, who played sncb a leading part in French history 
from the reign of Henry ii. on to the downfaU of the League, became French 
in the person of Claude, the fifth eon of Ben4, Duke of Lorraine, who 
inherited the lands of his father which were situated in Fi ance. Francis I. 
had loaded him with honours and lands. The family had always been 
devoted to the Papacy, and had profited by their devotion. The brother of 
Clande, Jean, had been made a Cardinal when he was twenty, aud had 
accumulated in his own person an immense number of benefiees. These 
descended to his nephews, Charles, who was firnt Cardinal of Quise and then 
Ordinal of Lorraine, and Louis, who was Cardinal of Guise. The accumu- 
lated benefices enjoyed by Charles amounted to over 800,000 livres. Tht 
GuiMs did not serve the Boman Church for nothing. 


it would be continued by the new government The pto-^ 
cess against Antoine du Bourg and his fellow -members of 
the ParUment of Paris who had dared to remonstrate 
against the persecution, was pushed forward with all speed. 
They were condemned to the stake, and the only mitigation 
of sentence was that Du Bourg was to be strangled before 
he was burnt His fate provoked much sympathy. As 
he was led to the place of execution the crowd pleaded 
with him to recant His resolute, dignified bearing made 
a great impression ; and his dying speech, according to one 
eye-witness, " did more harm to the Boman Church than a 
hundred ministers could have done," and, according to 
another, " made more converts among the French students 
than all the books of Calvin." The persecutions of Pro- 
testants of lower rank increased rather than diminished. 
Police made descents on the houses in the Bue de Marais- 
Saint-Germain and neighbouring streets.^ Spies were hired 
to insinuate themselves into the confidence of the suspected 
for the purpose of denouncing them. The Parlement of 
• Paris instituted four separate criminal courts for the sole 
purpose of trying heretics brought before them. The 
prisons were no sooner filled than they were emptied by 
sentences which sent the condemned to the galleys or to 
death. The government incited to persecution by new 
declarations and edicts. It declared that houses in which 
conventicles were held were to be razed to the ground 
(Sept 4th, 1559); that all who organised unlawful 
assemblies were to be punished by death (Nov. 9th, 1559) ; 
that nobles who bad justiciary courts were to act according 
to law in the matter of heresy, or to be deprived of their 
justiciary rights (Feb. 1560). In spite of all this stem 

^ The street Marais-Saint-Gertnain was called jM^'te Otnihue^ becanse it' 
supposed to be largely inhabited by Protestants. It was selected beoaose 
of its remoteness from the centre of Paris, and because it was partly under 
the jurisdiction of the Abbey of Saint-Germain-des-Pr^ and of the UmT«r* 
sity — ^two corporations excessively jealous of the infringements of their rights 
of police. Cf. Athanase Gocquerel fils, " Histoire d*nne me de Paris," in the 
Bulletin histtyrique tt lUUraire de la 9oeM de FhidoUre ijm proiedaeUmke 
/nm^i$ for 1866, pp. 185, 208. 


Tepreesion, the numbers of the Protestants increased, and 
Calvin could declare that there were at least 300,000 in 

The character of Protestantism in France had been 
changing. In the earlier years of the persecution thej 
had submitted meekly without thought of revolt, resigned 
to their fate, rejoicing to suffer in the cause of Christ 
But under this rule of the Guises the question of resistance 
was discussed. It could be said that revolt did not mean 
revenge for injuries done to themselves. A foreign family 
had overawed their King and imposed themselves on 
France. The Princes of the Blood, Antoine de Bourbon 
and his brother Louis de Cond^, in whose veins ran the 
blood of Saint Louis, who were the natural leaders of the 
people, were flouted by the Guises. The inviolability of 
FarUment had been attacked in the execution of Antoine 
da Bourg, and the justiciary rights of great nobles were 
threatened simply in order to extirpate ''those of the 
religion." They believed that France was full of men who 
had no good will to the tyranny of the '' foreignera" 
They consulted their brethren in exile, and Calvin himself, 
on the lawfulness and expediency of an armed insurrection. 
The refugees favoured the plan. Calvin denounced it. 
" If one drop of blood is shed in such a revolt, rivers will 
flow ; it is better that we all perish than cause such a scandal 
to the cause of Christ and His Evangel" Some of the 
Protestants were not to be convinced. They only needed 
a leader. Their natural head was the King of Navarre ; 
but Antoine de Bourbon was too unstable. Louis de 
Cond^y his brother, was sounded.^ It is said that he 
promised to come forward if the enterprise was confined 
to the seizure of the Guises, and if it was successful 
in effecting this. A Protestant gentleman, Godefroy de 
Barry, Seigneur de la Benaudie, became temporary leader. 

^ Za Jihw^res du prince de Condi (The Hague, 1743) ; Duo d'Annule, 
Sidain dee Princes de Condd pendant lee xvi^^ et dwti"** tiidee^ i. 57 
(Ptfu^ 1869-64 ; Eng. traoa., London, 1872} ; Armatrong^ The French 
Wmn cf Bdigum (London, 1892). 


' He had wrongs to avenga He had been condemned by 
the Parlement of Dijon (Burgundy), had escaped to 
Geneva, and had been converted there ; his brother-in-law, 
Gaspard de Heu, of Metz, had been strangled by the Guises 
in the castle of Yincennes without form of trial. A 
number of gentlemen and noble^ promised their assistance. 
The conspirators swore to undertake nothing against the 
King; the enterprise was limited to the arrest of the 
Guises. News of the project began to leak out. Every 
information went to show that the Guises were the objects 
of attack. The Court was moved from Blois to Amboise, 
which was a fortified city. More precise information filtered 
to headquarters. The Duke of Guise captured some small 
bands of conspirators, and de la Benaudie himself was slain 
in a skirmish. The Guises took summary vengeance. Their 
prisoners were often slaughtered when caught; or were 
tied hand and foot and thrown into the Loire. Others 
were hurried through a form of trial. So many gallows 
were needed that there was not wood enough, and the 
prisoners were hung from the doors and battlements of the 
castle of Amboise. The young King and . Queen, with 
their ladies, walked out after dinner to feast their eyes on 
the dead bodies. 

Even before the Clonspiracy of Amboise had run its 
length, members of the Court had begun to protest against 
the religious policy of the Guises. Catherine de' Medici 
had talked the matter over with the Admiral Coligny, had 
been told by him that the religious persecutions were at 
the bottom of the troubles in the kingdom, and had listened 
to his proposal that all such should be suspended until the 
meeting of a Council. The result was that government 
decided to pardon those accused of heresy if they would 
promise for the future to live as good Catholics. The 
brutalities of the methods by which the sharers in the 
foolishly planned and feebly executed Conspiracy of 
Amboise were punished increased the state of disorder in 
the kingdom, and the hatred against the Guises found 
vent in an Epistle sent to the Tiger of France, in which the 


Dake is addressed as a " mad tiger, a venomous viper, a 
sepalchre of abominations." 

Catherine de' Medici deemed the opportunity favour- 
able for exercising her influence. She contrived to get 
Michel de lllopital appointed as Chancellor, knowing that 
he was opposed to the sanguinary policy pursued. He was 
able to inspire the Edict of Bomorantin (May 18th, 1560), 
which made the Bishops judges of the crime of heresy, 
imposed penalties on false accusers, and left the punish- 
ment to be bestowed on attendance at conventicles in the 
bands of the presidents of the tribunals. Then, with the 
help of the Chancellor, Catherine managed to get an 
Assembly of the Notables summoned to meet at Fountaine- 
bleau. There, many of the members advocated a cessation 
of the religious persecution. One Archbishop, Marillac of 
Vienne, and the Bishops of Orleans and Valence, asserted 
boldly that the religious disorders were really caused by 
the scandals in the Church ; spoke against severe repression 
until a Council, national or general, had been held ; and 
hinted that the services of the Guises were not indispens- 
able. At the beginning of the second session Coligny spoke. 
He bad the courage to make himself the representative of 
the Huguenots, as the Protestants now began to be nick- 
named. He attacked boldly the religious policy of the 
Guises, charged them with standing between the King and 
loyal subjects, and declared that the persecuted were 
Christians who asked for nothing but to be allowed to 
worship God as the Gospel taught them. He presented a 
petition to the King from the Protestants asserting their 
loyalty, begging that the persecution should cease, and 
asking that " temples " might be eussigned for their worship. 
The petition was unsigned, but Coligny declared that fifty 
thousand names could be obtained in Normandy alone. 
The Duke of Guise spoke with great violence, but the 
more politic Cardinal induced him to agree with the other 
members to call a meeting of the States General of 
France, to be held on the 10th of December 1560. 

Shortly after the Notables had dispersed^ word Qftoxe 


of another conspiracy, in which not onlj the Bourbon 
Princes, but also the Constable Montmorency were said to 
be implicated. Disturbances broke out in Provence and 
Dauphin^. The Guises went back to then* old policy of 
violence. The King of Navarre and the Prince of 
Cond^ were summoned by the King to appear before him 
to justify themselves. Although well warned of what 
might happen, they obeyed the summons, and presented 
themselves unattended by armed men. Cond^ was seized 
and imprisoned. He was condemned to death, and his 
execution was fixed for the 1 0th of December. The King 
of Navarre was left at liberty, but was closely watched ; 
and more than one attempt was made to assassinate him. 
It was vaguely believed that the Cardinal of Lorraine bad 
resolved to get rid of all the leaders of the Huguenots by 
death or imprisonment 

While these terrifying suggestions were being whispered, 
the young King fell ill, and died suddenly. This ended the 
rule of the Guises, and the French Protestants breathed 
freely again. 

" Did you ever read or hear," said Calvin in a letter 
to Sturm, '* of anything more opportune than the death of 
the King ? The evils had reached an extremity for which 
there was no remedy, when suddenly God shows Himself 
from heaven. He who pierced the eye of the father has 
now stricken the ear of the son." 

§ 10. CidhervM de' Medici lecames MegenL 

In the confusion which resulted, Catherine recognised 
that at last the time had come when she could gratify the 
one strong passion which possessed her — the passion to 
govern. Charles ix. was a boy of ten. A Begent was 
essential Antoine de Bourbon, as the first Piince of the 
Blood, might have claimed the position ; but Catherine first 
terrified him with what might be the fate of Cond^, and 
then proposed that the Constable Montmorency and himself 
should be her principal adviser& The facile Antoine 


accepted the situation : the Constable was recalled to the 
Ck>art; Louis de Cond^ was released from prison. His 
imprisonment had made a deep impression all over France. 
The Protestants believed that he had suffered for their sakes. 
Hymns of prayer had been sung during his captivity, and 
songs of thanksgiving greeted his release.^ 

^Le pauvre Chrestien, qui endure 

Prison, pour verity ; 
Le Prince, en captivite dure 

Sans Tavoir merite 
Au plus fort de leurs peines entendent 

Tes oeuvres tous parfaits, 
£t gloire et louange te rendent 

De tes merveilleuz faits." 

This was sung all over France during Condi's imprison- 
ment ; after his release the tone varied : 

'* Resjouissez vous en Dieu 
FidMes de chacun lieu ; 

Car Dieu pour nous a mand^ (envoy^) 
Le bon prince de Cond4 ; 

Et Yons nobles protestans 
Princes, seigneurs attestans ; 
Car Dieu x>our nous a mand^ 
Le bon prince de Cond^'* 

CSatherine de' Medici was forty-one years of age when 
she became the Begent of France.^ Her life had been hard. 
Bom in 1519, the niece of Pope Clement vn., she was 
married to Henry of France in 1534. She had been a 
n^lected wife all the days of her married life. For ten 
years she had been childless,' and her sonnets breathe the 

> Ztf CftanaomiMr Suguenot du xvi* sUele (Paris, 1871), pp. 204, 245. 

* Buchot, Cathenne de M4d%cis (Paris, 1899) ; Edith Sichel, OathtrvM 
d£ Medici amd the French Be/ormation (London, 1905). 

'Catherine's children were — *' Francis ii., 1544-60 ; EUzabeth (married 
to Philip n. of Spam in 1559), 1545-68 ; Claude (m. to Charles iii., Duke of 
Lorraine (1558), 1547-75 ; Loms, Duke of Orleans, 1548-50 ; Charles ix., 
1550-74 ; Henri in. (first Duke of Orleans, then Duke of Anjou), 1551-89 ; 
fitauam (Duke of Alenfon, then Duke of A^jou), 1554-84 ; Marguerite 


prayer of fiachel — Give me children, or else I dia During 
Henry's absence with the army in 1552, he had grudgingly 
appointed her Eegent, and she had shown both ability and 
patience in acquiring a knowledge of all the details of 
government After the defeat of Saint*Quentin she for 
once earned her husband's gratitude and praise by the way 
in which she had promptly persuaded the Parliament to 
grant a subsidy of 300,000 livres. These incidents were 
her sole apprenticeship in the art of ruling. She had always 
been a great eater, walker, and rider.^ Her protruding eyes 
and her bulging forehead recalled the features of her grand- 
uncle, Pope Leo x. She had the taste of her family for art 
and display. Her strongest intellectual force was a robust, 
hard, and narrow common sense which was responsible both 
for her success and for her failures. She can scarcely be 
called immoral; it seemed rather that she was utterly 
destitute of any moral sense whatsoever. 

The difficulties which confronted the Begent were great, 
both at home and abroad. The question of questions was 
the treatment to be given to her Protestant subjects. She 
seems from the first to have been in favour of a measure 
of toleration; but the fanatically Roman Catholic party 
was vigorous in France, especially in Paris, and was ably 
led by the Guises; and Philip of Spain had made the 
suppression of the Beformation a matter of international 

Meanwhile Catherine had to face the States General, 
summoned by the late King in August 1560. While the 
Guises were still in power, strict orders had been given to 
see that none but ardent Eomanists should be elected ; but 
the excitement of the times could not be restrained by any 
management. It was nearly half a century since a King 
of France had invited a declaration of the opinions of his 

(married Henri iv.), 1552-1615 ; and twins wbo died in the year of their 
birth, Victoria and Jeanne, b. 1556. 

^ Some say that Catherine either invented or made fashionable the 
modem ladies' side-saddle ; during the Middle Ages ladies rode astride, or on 
pillion, or seated sideways on horseback with their feet on a board which 
was suspended from the front and rear of the saddle. 


subjects ; the last meeting of the States General had been 
in 1484.^ Catherine watched the elections, and the expres- 
sion of sentiments which they called" forth. She saw that 
the Protestants were activa Calvinist ministers traversed 
the West and the South almost unhindered, encouraging the 
people to assert their liberties. They were even permitted 
to address some of the assemblies met to elect represent- 
atives. A minister, Charles Dalbiac, expounded the Con- 
fession of Faith to the meeting of the nobles at Angers, and 
showed how the Bomau Church had enslaved and changed 
the whole of the Christian faith and practice. In other 
places it was said that Antoine de Bourbon had no right to 
allow Catherine to assume the B^ency, and that he ought 
to be forced to take his proper place. The air seemed full 
of menaces against the Begent and in favour of the Princes 
of the Blood. Catherine hastened to place the King of 
Navarre in a position of greater dignity. She shared the 
Regency nominally with the premier Prince of the Blood, 
who was lieutenant-General of France. If Antoine had 
been a man of resolution, he might have insisted on a large 
share in the government of the country, but his easy, care- 
less disposition made him plastic in the hands of Catherine, 
and she could write to her daughter that he was very 
obedient, and issued no order without her permission. 

The Estates met at Orl^ns on the 13 th of December. 
The opening speech by the Chancellor, Michel d'Hopit-al, 
showed that the Begent and her councillors were at least 
inclined to a policy of tolerance. The three orders (Clergy, 
Nobles, and Third Estate), he said, bad been simimoned to 
find remedies for the divisions which existed within the 
kingdom ; and these, he believed, were due to religion. He 
could not help recognising that religious beliefs, good or 
bad, tended to excite burning passions. He could not avoid 
seeing that a common religion was a stricter bond of imity 
than belonging to the same race or Uving under the same 
laws. Might they not all wait for the decision of a General 
Council? Might they not cease to use the irritating 

1 O. Picot, ffidaire dea itata Q^iUrwitx, ii (Paris, 1872). 



epithets of LtUJierans, Huguenots, Papists, and remember 
that they were all good Christians. The spokesmen of the 
three orders were heard at the second sitting. Dr. Qui.!itin, 
one of the Begents of the University of Paris, voiced the 
Clergy. He enlarged against the proposals which were to be 
brought forward by the other two orders to despoil the 
revenues of the Church, to attempt its reform by the civil 
power, and to grant toleration and even liberty of worship 
to heretics. Coligny begged the B^ent to note that 
Quintin had called subjects of the King heretics, and the 
spokesman of the Clergy apologised. Jacques de Silly, 
Baron de Bochefort, and Jean Lange, an advocate of 
Bordeaux, who spoke for the Nobles and for the Third 
Estate, declaimed against the abuses of ecclesiastical courts, 
and the avarice and ignorance of the clergy. 

At the sitting on Jan. 1st, 1561, each of the three 
Estates presented a written list of grievances (ccJiiers). 
That of the Third Estate was a memorable and important 
document in three hundred and fifty-four articles, and 
reveals, as no other paper of the time does, the evils result- 
ing from absolutist and aristocratic government in France. 
It asked for complete toleration in matters of religion, for 
a Beformation of the Church in the sense of giving a large 
extension of power to the laity, for uniformity in judicial 
procedure, for the abolition or curtailment of powers in 
signorial courts, for quinqueimial meetings of the Estates 
General, and demanded that the day and place of the next 
meeting should be fixed before the end of the present sitting. 
The Nobles were divided on the question of toleration, and 
presented three separate papers. In the first, which came 
from central France, stem repression of the Protestant faith 
was demanded ; in the second, coming from the nobles of 
the Western provinces, complete toleration was claimed ; 
in the third it was asked that both parties should be made 
to keep the peace, and that only preachers and pastors be 
punished. The list presented by the Clergy, like those of 
the other two orders, insisted upon the reform of the Church; 
but it took the line of urging the abolition of the Concordat, 


and a return to the provisions of the Pragmatic Sanction 
of Bourge& 

The Government answered these lists of grievances 
presented bj an edict and an ordinance. In the edict 
(Jan. 28th, 1661) the King ordered that all prosecutions 
for religion should cease, and that all prisoners should be 
released, with an admonition " to live in a catholic manner " 
for the future. The ordinance (dated Jan. 31st, but not 
completed till the following August), known as the Ordi- 
nance of OrUans, was a very elaborate document. It 
touched upon almost all questions brought forward in the 
lists of grievances, and enacted various reforms, boih civil 
and ecclesiastic — all of which were for the most part 
evaded in pra6tica The Estates were adjourned until the 
1st of May. 

The Huguenots had gained a suspension of persecution, 
if not toleration, by the edict of Jan. 28 th, and the dis- 
position of the Government made them hope for still 
further assistance. Befugees came back in great numbers 
from Switzerland, Germany, England, and even from Italy. 
The number of Protestant congregations increased, and 
Geneva provided the pastors. The edict did not give 
liberty of worship, but the Protestants acted as if it did. 
This roused the wrath of the more fanatically disposed por- 
tion of the Soman Catholic population. Priests and 
monks fanned the flames of sectarian bitterness. The 
Government was denounced, and anti-Protestant riots dis- 
turbed the country. When the Huguenots of Paris at- 
tempted to revive the psalm-singings in the Pr^-aux-Clercs, 
they were mobbed, and beaten with sticks by the populace. 
This led to reprisals in those parts of the country where 
the Huguenots were in a majority. In some towns the 
churches were invaded, the images torn down, and the 
relics burnt The leaders strove to restrain their fol- 
lowers.^ Calvin wrote energetically from Geneva against 
the lawlessness : 

' Jeanne d'Albret wrote remoniitrating strongly ; of. LeUre* eTAntoiTte d$ 
Bowtom et de Jtanne d^Albrtt, pp. 288/ 


" GU)d has never enjoined on any one to destroy idols, 
save on every man in his own house or on those placed in 
authority in public places. . . . Obedience is better than 
sacrifice ; we must look to what it is lawful for us to do, 
and must keep ourselves within bounds." 

At the Court at Fontainebleau, Ben^e, Duchess of 
Ferrara, and the Princess of Cond^ were permitted by the 
Begent to have worship in their rooms after the Beformed 
rite; and Coligny had in his household a minister from 
Geneva, Jean Baymond Merlin, to whose sermons outsiders 
were not. only admitted but invited. These things gave 
great ofifence to the Constable Montmorency, who was a 
strong Bomanist. He was still more displeased when 
Monluc, Bishop of Valence, preached in the ' State apart- 
ments before the boy King and the Queen Mother. He 
thought it was undignified for a Bishop to preach, and he 
believed that Monluc's sermons contained something very 
like Lutheran theology. He invited the Duke of Guise 
and Saint- Andr^, both old enemies, to supper (April 16th, 
1561), and the three pleged themselves to save the 
Bomanism of France. This union was afterwards known 
as the Triumvirate. 

Meanwhile religious disturbances were increasing. 
The Huguenots demanded the right to have ''temples" 
granted to them or built at their own expense; and in 
many places they openly gathered for public worship and 
for the celebration of the Lord's Supper. They frequently 
met armed to protect themselves from attack. The 
Government at length interfered, and by an edict (July 
1561) prohibited, under penalty of confiscation of property, 
all conventicles, public or privatiC, whether the worshippers 
were armed or unarmed, where sermons were made and 
the sacraments celebrated in any other fashion than that 
of the Catholic Church. The edict declared, on the other 
hand, that magistrates were not to be too zealous ; persons 
who laid false information were to be severely punished ; 
and all attacks on houses were forbidden. It was evidently 
meant to conciliate both parties. Coligny did not discon- 


tiiiue Dbe services in his apartments, and ^rote to his co- 
rehgionists that they had nothing to fear so long as they 
worshipped in private houses. Jeanne d'Albret declared 
herself openly a Protestant; and as she travelled from 
Nerac to Fontainebleau she restored to the Huguenots 
chorches which the magistrates had taken from them in 
obedience to the edict of July. 

The prorogued meeting of* the States General did not 
assemble until the 1st of August, and even then representa- 
tives of two orders only were present. An ecclesiastical 
synod was sitting at Poissy (opened July 28 th), and the 
clerical representatives were there. It was the 27 th 
of August before the three orders met together in 
presence of the King and the members of his Council 
at Saint-Germain. The meeting had been called for 
the purpose of discussing the question of national 
finance; but it was impossible to ignore the religious 

In their cahiers^ both the Nobles and the Third Estate 
advocated complete toleration and the summoning a 
National Council. The financial proposals of the Third 
Estate were thoroughgoing. After a statement of the 
national indebtedness, and a representation that taxation 
had reached its utmost limits, they proposed that money 
should be obtained from the superfluity of ecclesiastical 
wealth. In their cahier of Jan. 1st, the Third Estate had 
sketched a civil constitution for the French Church ; they 
now went^ further, and proposed that all ecclesiastical 
revenues should be nationalised, and that the clergy should 
be paid by the State. . They calculated that a surplus of 
seventy-two million livres would result, and proposed that 
forty-two millions should be set aside to liquidate the 
national debt, i ; 

This bold, proposal was impracticable in the condition 
of the kingdom..- The ParUment of Paris regarded it as 
a revolutionary attack on the rights of property, and it 
ahenated them for ever from the Eeformation movement ; 
but it enabled the Government to wring from the alarmed 


the Holy Supper. There was no attempt at concilia- 

Three days after (Sept. 19 th), Cardinal Ippolito d'Este 
arrived at Saint-Germain, accompanied by a numerous suite, 
among whom was Laynez, the General of the Society of 
Jesus. He had been sent by the Pope, legate a latere, to 
end, if possible, the conference at Foissy, and to secure the 
goodwill of the French Government for th6 promulgation of 
the decrees of the Council of Trent He so far prevailed that 
the last two sittings of the conference (Sept 24th, 26th) 
were with closed doors, and were scenes of perpetual recri- 
minations. Laynez distinguished himself by his vitupera- 
tive violence. The Protestant ministers were "wolves," 
"foxes," "serpents," "assassina" Catherine persevered. 
She arranged a conference between five of the more liberal 
Boman Catholic clergy and five Protestant ministera It 
met (Sept 30 th, Oct 1st), and managed to draft a formula 
about the Holy Supper which was at once rejected by the 
Bishops of the French Church (Oct 9 th). 

Out of this Colloquy of Poissy came the edict of January 
17th, 1562, which provided that Protestants were to sur- 
render all the churches and ecclesiastical buildings they 
had seized, and prohibited them from meeting for public 
worship, whether within a building or not, inside the walls 
of any town. On the other hand, they were to have the 
right to assemble for public worship anywhere outside 
walled towns, and meetings in private houses within the 
walls were not prohibited. Thus tiie Protestants of France 
secured legal recognition for the first time, and enjoyed the 
right to worship according to their conscience. They were 
not satisfied — they could scarcely be, so long as they were 
kept outside the walls ; but their leaders insisted on their 
accepting the edict as a reasonable compromise. ** If the 
liberty promised us in the edict lasts," Calvin wrote, " the 
Papacy will fall to the ground of itself." Withm one year 
the Huguenots of France found themselves freed from per- 
secution, and in the enjoyment of a measured liberty of 
public worship. It can scarcely be doubted that they 


owed this to Catherine de' Medici. She was a child of the 
Benaissance, and was naturally on the side of free thought ; 
and she was, besides, at this time persuaded that the Hugue- 
nots had the future on their sida In the coming struggle 
they regarded this edict as their charter, and frequently 
demanded its restitution and enforcement. 

Catherine de' Medici had shown both courage and con- 
stancy in her attempts at conciliation. To the remon- 
strances of Philip of Spain she had replied that she meant 
to be master in her own house ; and when the Constable 
de Montmorency had threatened to leave the Court, he had 
been told that he might do as he pleased. But she was 
soon to be convinced that she had overestimated the strength 
of the Protestants, and that she could never count on the 
consistent support of their nominal leader, the vain and 
vacillating Antoine de Bourbon. Had Jeanne d'Albret 
been in her husband's place, things might have been 

The edict of January 17th, 1562, had exasperated 
the Romanists without satisfying the mass of the 
Protestants. The marked increase in the numbers of 
Protestant congregations, and their not very strict observ- 
ance of the limitations of the edict, had given rise to 
disturbances in many parts of the country. Everything 
seemed to tend towards civil war. The spark which 
kindled the conflagitition was the Massacre of Yassy.^ 

§ 12. The Massacre of Vassy. 

The Duke of Guise, travelling from Joinville to Paris, 
accompanied by his brother, the Cardinal of Guise, his 
children and his wife, and escorted by a large armed retinue, 
halted at Yassy (March 1st, 1562). It was a Sunday, and 
the Duke wished to hear Mass. Scarcely a gunshot from 
the church was a bam where the Protestants (in defiance 
of the edict, for Yassy was a walled town) were holding a 

'Lftyiase, "Le Maaaacre, fiat & Yassy" in Org/ndef ISh^n^ hUtm^^ua d% 
zvH sUeU (Pftris, 1886). 


service. The congregation, barely a year old, was numerDus 
and zealous. It was an eyesore to Antoinette de Bourbon, 
the mother of the Guises, who lived in the neighbouring 
ch&teau of Joinville, and saw her dependants attracted by 
the preaching at Yassy. The Duke was exasperated at 
seeing men whom he counted his subjects defying him in 
his presence. He sent some of his retainers to order the 
worshippers to quit the placa They were received by 
cries of ** Papists I idolaters ! " When they attempted to 
force an entrance, stones began to fly, and the Duke was 
struck. The bam was rushed, the worshippers fusilladed, 
and before the Duke gave orders to cease firing, sixty-three 
of the six or seven hundred Protestants were slfdn, and 
over a hundred wounded. 

The news of the massacre spread fast; and while it 
exasperated the Huguenots, the Bomanists hailed it as a 
victory. The Constable de Montmorency and the Marshal 
Saint Andr^ went out to meet the Duke, and the Guises 
entered Paris in triumph, escorted by more than three 
thousand armed men. The Protestants began arming 
themselves, and crowded to Paris to place themselves under 
the orders of the Prince of Cond^. It was feared that the 
two factions would fight in the streets. 

The Regent with the King retired to Fontainebleau. 
She was afraid of the Triumvirs (Montmorency, the Duke 
of Guise, and Marshal Saint- Andr^), and she invited the 
Prince de Cond^ to protect her and her children. Gond^ 
lost this opportunity of placing himself and his co-religion- 
ists in the position of being the support of the throne. 
The Triumvirate, with Antoine de Bourbon, who now seemed 
to be their obedient servant, marched on Fontainebleau, 
and compelled the King and the Queen Mother to return 
to Pari& Catherine believed that the Protestants had 
abandoned her, and turned to the Romanists. 

The example of massacre given at Yassy was followed 
in many places where the Romanists were in a majority. 
In Paris, Sens, Rouen, and elsewhere, the Protestant places 
of worship were attacked, and many of the worshippers 


slaiiL At Toulouse, the Protestants shut themselves up in 
the Capitol, and were besieged bj tlie Bomanist& They 
at last surrendered, trusting to a pr#iBise that they would 
be allowed to leave the town in safety. The promise was 
not kept, and three thousand men, women, and children 
were slain in cold blood. This slaughter, in violation of 
oath, was celebrated by the Roman Catholics of Toulouse 
in centenary festivals, which were held in 1662, in 1762, 
and would have been celebrated in 1862 had the Govern- 
ment of Napoleon m. not interfered to forbid it 

These massacres provoked reprisals. The Huguenots 
broke into the Bomanist churches, tore down the images, 
defaced the altars, and destroyed the relics. 

S 13. The Begiwning of the Ware of Beligion. 

Gradually the parties faced each other with the Duke 
of Guise and the Constable Montmorency at the head of 
the Bomanists, and the Prince of Cond^ and Admiral 
Coligny at the head of the Huguenots. France became 
the scene of a civil conflict, where religious fanaticism 
added its cruelties to the ordinary barbarities of warfare. 

The Venetian Ambassador, writing home to the chiefs 
of his State, was of opinion that this first war of religion 
prevented France from becoming Protestant. The cruelties 
of the Bomanists had disgusted a large number of French- 
men, who, though they had no great sympathy for the Pro- 
testant faith, would have gladly allied themselves with a 
policy of toleration. The Huguenot chiefs themselves saw 
that the desecration of churches did not serve the cause 
they had at heart. Calvin and de B^ze wrote, energetically 
urging their followers to refrain from attacks on churches, 
images, and relic& But it was all to no purpose. At 
Orleans, Coligny and Conde heard that their men were 
assaulting the Church of the Holy Spirit. They hastened 
there, and Cond^ saw a Huguenot soldier on the roof of the 
church about to cast ah image to the ground. Seizing an 
arquebus, he pointed it at the man, and ordered him to 


desist and come down. The soldier did not stop his work 
for an instant. " Sire/' he said, '* have patience with me 
until I destroy this idol, and then let me die if it be your 
pleasure." When men were content to die rather than 
refrain from iconoclasm, it was in vain to expect to check 
it. Somehow the slaughter of men made less impression 
than the sack of churches, and moderate men came to the 
opinion that if the Huguenots prevailed, they would be as 
intolerant as the Bomanists had been. The rising tide of 
sympathy for the persecuted Protestants was checked by 
these deeds of violence. 

The progress of the war was upon the whole unfavour- 
able to the Huguenots, and in the beginning of 1553 both 
parties were exhausted. The Constable Montmorency had 
been captured by the Huguenots, and the Prince de Cond^ 
by the Romanists. The Duke of Guise was shot from 
behind by a Huguenot, and died six days later (Feb. 24th, 
1563). The Marshal Saint- Andr^ and Antoine de Bourbon 
had both died during the course of the war. Catherine de' 
Medici was everywhere recognised as the head of the 
Bomanist party. She no longer needed the Protestants to 
counterbalance the Guises and the Constable. She could 
now pursue her own policy. 

From this time forward she was decidedly hostile to 
the Huguenots. She had learned the resources and 
popularity of the Bomanists. But she disliked fighting, 
and the religious war was ruining France. Her 
idea was that it would be necessary to tolerate the 
Protestants, but impossible to grant them common 
rights with the Bomanists. She applied herself to 
win over the Prince de Cond^, who was tired of his 
captivity. Negotiations were opened. Catherine, the 
Constable, Cond^, and d'Andelot met at Orleans; and, 
after discussion, terms were agreed upon (March 7th), and 
the Edict of Amboise incorporating them was published 
(March 18th, 1563). 

Cond^ had asked for the restitution of the edict of 
Jan. 17 th,, 15.61,^ and the strict eoforcem^t, o| it? t^rm& 


This was refused. The terms of the new edict were as 
favourable for men of good birth, but not for othera 
Condd had to undergo the reproaches of Coligny, that he 
had secured rights for himself but had betrayed his 
poorer brethren in the faith ; and that he had destroyed 
by his signature more churches than the united forces of 
Bomanism had done in ten years. Calvin spoke of him 
as a poor Prince who had betrayed God for his own 

The truce, for it veas no more than a truce, concluded 
by the Edict of Amboise lasted nearly five years. It 
was broken by the Huguenots, who were suspicious that 
CSatherine was plotting with the Duke of Alva agamst them. 
Alva was engaged in a merciless attempt to exterminate 
the Protestants of the Low Countries, and Catherine had 
been at pains to provide provisions for his troops. The 
Protestant leaders came to the desperate conclusion to 
imitate the Triumvirate in 1561, and seize upon the 
King's person. They failed, and their attempt began the 
Second War of Eeligion. The indecisive battle of Saint- 
Denis was fought on Nov. 10th, 1567, and the Constable 
Montmorency fell in the fight Both parties were almost 
exhausted, and the terms of peace were the same as those 
in the Edict of Amboisa 

The close of this Second War of Keligion saw a 
determined attempt, mainly directed by the Jesuits, to 
inspire the masses of France with enthusiasm for the 
Roman Catholic Church. Eloquent preachers traversed 
the land, who insisted on the antiquity of the Boman and 
(he novelty of the Protestant faith. Brotherhoods were 
formed, and enrolled men of all sorts and conditions of 
life sworn to bear arms against every kind of heresy. Out- 
rages and assassinations of Protestants were common ; and 
the Government appeared indifferent. It was, however, the 
events in the Low Countries which again alarmed the 
Protestuits. The Duke of Alva, who had begun his rule 
there with an appearance of gentleness, had suddenly 
seized and executed the Counts Egmont and Horn. He 


had appointed a commisfiion to judge the leaders and 
accomplices in the earlier rising — a Gommission which 
from its deeds gained for itself the name of the Tribunal 
of Blood. Huguenot soldiers hastened to enrol themselves 
in the levies which the Prince of Orange was raising for 
the deliverance of his countrymen. But the Huguenot 
leaders had other thoughts. Was Catherine meaning to 
treat them as Alva had treated Egmont and Horn ? Thej 
found that they were watched. The suspicion and 
suspense became intolerable Coligny and Cond^ resolved 
to take refuge in La Bochelle. As they passed through 
the country they were joined by numbers of Huguenots, 
and soon became a small army. Their followers were 
eager to avenge the murders committed on those of their 
faith, and pillage and worse marked the track of the 
army. Cond^ and the Admiral punished some of their 
marauding followers by death ; and this, says the chronicler, 
** made the violence of the soldier more secret if not more 

D'Andelot had collected his Normans and Bretons. 
Jeanne d'Albret had roused her Gascons and the Pro- 
veuQals, and appeared with her son, Henry of Navarre, a 
boy of fifteen, at the head of her troops. She published 
a manifesto to justify her in taking up arms. In the 
camp at La Bochelle she was the soul of the party, fired 
their passions, and sustained their courage.^ 

In the war which followed, the Huguenots were 
unfortunate. At the battle of Jamac, Condi's cavalry 
was broken by a charge on their flank made by the 
German mercenaries under Tavannes. He fought till he 
was surrounded and dismounted. After he had surrendered 
he was brutally shot in cold blood. The Huguenots soon 
rallied at Cognac, where the Queen of Navarre joined 

^ Lettres cFArUoine d$ Bourbon et ek Jeanne tTAlhret (Pans, 1877), ppw 
805/. (Letter to Catherine de' Medici) ; pp. 822/. (letters to Proteatants 
outside La Rochelle). In her letter to Catherine Jeanne demands for the 
Protestants liberty of worship and all the rights and privileges ol 
ordinary citizens: if these are not granted there must be war. 


them. She presented her son and her nephew, young 
Henry of Cond^, to the troops, and was received with 
acclamations. Young Henry of Navarre was proclaimed 
head of the party, and his cousin, Henry of Cond^, a 
boy of the same age, was associated with him. The war 
went on. The Battle of Moncontour ended in the most 
disastrous defeat the Huguenots had ever sustained. 
Catherine de' Medici thought that she had them at her 
mercy, and proposed terms of submission which would 
have left them liberty of conscience but denied the right 
to worship. The heroic Queen of Navarre declared that 
the names of Jeanne and Henry would never appear on a 
treaty containing these conditions ; and Goligny, like his 
contemporary, William the Silent, was never more 
dangerous than after a defeat. The Huguenots announced 
themselves ready to fight to the last ; and Catherine, to 
her astonishment, saw them stronger than ever. An 
armistice was arranged, and the Edict of Saint-Germain 
(Aug. 8th, 1570) published th§ terms of peace. It was 
more favourable to the Huguenots than any earlier one. 
They were guaranteed freedom of conscience throughout 
the whole kingdom. They had the liberty of public 
worship in all places where it had been practised before 
the war, in the suburbs of at least two towns in every 
government, and in the residences of the great nobles. 
Four strongly fortified towns — La Eochelle, Montauban, 
Cognac, and La Charity — were to be held by them as 
pledges for at least two years. The King withdrew 
himself from the Spanish alliance and the international 
policy of the suppression of the Protestants. William 
of Orange and Ludovic of Nassau were declared to be his 
friends, in spite of the fact that they were the rebel 
subjects of Philip of Spain and had assisted the Huguenots 
in the late war. 

After the peace of Saint-Germain, Coligny, now the 
only great leader left to the Huguenots, lived far from 
the Court at La Bochelle, acting as the guardian of the 
two young Bourbon Princes, Henry of Navarre and Henry 


of Cond^. He occupied himself in securing for the 
Seformed the advantages they had won in the recent 
treaty of peace. 

Catherine de' Medici had b^^n to think of strengthen- 
ing herself at home and abroad by matrimonial alliances. 
She wished one of her sons, whether the Duke of Anjou 
or the Duke of Alengon it mattered little to her, to marry 
Elizabeth of England, and her daughter Marguerite to 
espouse the young King of Navarre. Both designs 
meant that the Huguenots must be conciliated. They 
were in no hurry to respond to her advances. Both 
Coligny and Jeanne d'Albret kept themselves at a distance 
from the Court Suddenly the young King, Charles ix., 
seemed to awaken to his royal position. He had been 
hitherto entirely submissive to his mother, expending his 
energies now in hunting, now in lock-making ; but, if one 
can judge from what awakened him, cherishing a sullen 
grudge against Philip of Spain and his pretensions to guide 
the policy of Roman Catholic Europe. 

Pope Pius V. had made Cosmo de' Medici, the ruler of 
Florence, a Grand Duke, and Philip of Spain and 
Maximilian of Austria had protested. Cosmo sent an 
agent to win the German Protestants to side with hinn 
against Maximilian, and to engage the Dutch Protestants 
to make trouble in the Netherlands. Charles saw the 
opportunity of gratifying his gnidge, and entered eagerly 
into the scheme. His wishes did not for the time interfere 
with his mother's plans. If her marriage ideas were to 
succeed, she must break with Spain. Coligny saw the 
advantages which might come to his fellow-believers in 
the Netherlands— ^help in money from Italy and with 
troops from France. He resolved to make his peace with 
Catherine, respond to her advances, and betake himself to 
Court. He was graciously received, for Catherine wished 
to make use of him ; was made a member of the Council, 
received a gift of one hundred and fifty thousand livres, 
and, although a heretic, was put into possession of an 
Abbey whose revenues amounted to twenty thousand livres 


a year. The Protestant chiefs were respectfully listened 
to when they stated grievances, and these were promptly 
put right, even at the risk of exasperating the Bomanists. 
The somewhat unwilling consent of Jeanne d'Albret was 
won to the marriage of her son with Marguerite, and she 
herself came to Paris to settle the terms of contract. 
There Bhe w« seized with pleuriay. and died-^ irreparable 
loss to the Protestant cause. Catherine's home policy had 
been successful 

But Elizabeth of England was not to be enticed either 
into a French marriage or a stable French alliance, and 
Catherine de' Meclici saw that her son's scheme might lead 
to France being left to confront Spain alone ; and the Spain 
of the sixteenth century played the part of Bussia in the 
end of the nineteenth — fascinating the statesmen of the day 
with its gloomy, mysterious, incalculable power. She felt 
that she must detach Charles at whatever cost from his 
scheme of flouting Philip by giving assistance to the 
Protestants of the Low Countriea Coligny was in her 
way — recognised to be the gr&test statesman in France, 
enthusiastically bent on sending French help to his 
struggling co-religionists, and encouraging Charles DL 
Coligny must be removed. The Guises were at deadly 
feud with him, and would be useful in putting him out of 
the way. The Ambassador of Florence reported signifi- 
cantly conferences between Catherine and the Duchess de 
Nemours, the mother of the Guises (July 23rd, 1572). 
The Queen had secret interviews with Maureval, a 
professional bravo, who drew a pension as " tueur 
du Boy." 

Nothing could be done until Henry, now King of 
Navarre by his mother's death, was safely married to 
Marguerite. The wedding took place on August 18th, 
1572. On Friday (Aug. 22nd), between ten and eleven 
o'clock, Coligny left the Louvre to return to his lodging. 
The assassin was stationed in a house belonging to a 
retainer of the Guises, at a grated window concealed by a 
curtain. The Admiral was walking slowly, reading a letter. 


Suddenly a shot carried away the index finger of his right 
hand and wounded his left ann. He calmly pointed to the 
window from whence the shot had come ; and some of his 
suite rushed to the house, but found nothing but a smoking 
arquebua. The news reached the Eling when he was play- 
ing tennis. He became pallid, threw down his racquet, 
and went to his room& 

Catherine closeted herself with the Duke of Anjou to 
discuss a situation which was fraught with terror.^ 

§ 14. The Massacre of St. Bartholomew. 

Paris was full of Huguenot gentlemen, drawn from all 
parts of the country for the wedding of their young chief 
with the Princess Af su^erite. They rushed to the house 
in which Coligny lay. The young King of Navarre and 
his cousin, Henry de Cond^, went to the King to demand 
justice, which Charles promised would be promptly rendered. 
Coligny asked to see the King, who proposed to go at once. 
Catherine feared to leave the two alone, and accompanied 
him, attended by a number of her most trusty adherenta 
Even the Duke of Guise was there. The King by 
Coligny's bedside swore again with a great oath that he 
would avenge the outrage in a way that it would never 
be forgotten. A commission was appointed to inquire into 
the affair, and they promptly discovered that retainers 
of the Guises were implicated. If the investigations were 
pursued in the King's temper, Guise would probably seek 
to save himself by revealing Catherine's share in the 
attempted assassination. She became more and more a 
prey to terror. The Huguenots grew more and more 

violent At last Catherine, whether on her own initiative 


or prompted by others will never be known, believed that 
she could only save herself by a prompt and thorough 

^ For the attempted asaassination of Coligny, of. Whitehead, Ocupardde 
Coligny, Admirai ^ France {hondony 1905), pp. 258/. ; Bulletin de rhiitoin 
du ProtesUmtisme FrangaiSf xxzyi. 105 ; BuUe in de la SoeUtd de Fhistoire di 
Piaritf etc. ziv. 88. 


maBsacre of the Huguenots, gathered in unusual numbers 
in Paria^ 

She summoned a council (Aug. 23rd), at which were 
present, so far as is known, the Duke of Anjou, her 
favourite son, afterwards Henry m.. Marshal Tavannes, 
Nevers, Nemours (the stepfather of the Guises), Birago 
(Chancellor), the Count de Retz, and the Chevalier 
d'AngoulSme — ^four of them Italians. They were un- 
animous in advising an instant massacre. Tavannes and 
Nevers, it is said, pled for and obtained the lives of the 
two young Bourbons, the King of Navarre and the Prince 
de Cond£. The Count de Retz, who was a favourite with 
Charles, was engaged to win the King's consent by appeal- 
ing to his fears, and by telling him that his mother and 
brother were as deeply implicated as Guisa 

Night had come down before the final resolution was 
taken; but the fanatical and bloodthirsty mob of Paris 
might be depended upon. At the last moment, Tavannes 
(the son) tells us in his Memoirs, Catherine wished to draw 
back, but the others kept her firm. The Duke of Guise 
undertook to slay Coligny. The Admiral was run through 
with a pike, and the body tossed out of the window into 
the courtyard where Guise was waiting. At the Louvre 
the young Bourbon Princes were arrested, taken to the 
King, and given their choice between death and the Mas& 
The other Huguenot gentlemen who were in the Louvre 
were slain. In the morning the staircases, halls, and anti- 
chambers of the Palace were deeply stained with blood 
When the murders had been done in the Louvre, the troops 
divided into parties and went to seek other victima 
Almost all the Huguenot gentlemen on the north side of 

' For the Mufwere of St. Bartholomew, of. BoDnardot, Begiatrea dea 
DiliUraHona du Bureau de la VHU de Paris {1368-16718), vii. (Paris, 1898) ; 
MimoiTta ds Madame d^ PlessU-Momay, publ. by the SocUti de Vhiatoirt de 
la Jhxmee (1868) ; MimoiflreB et Corrtspondanee de Du Plems-Mcmay (1824), 
u. ; Bordier, SaM Barthdlemy et la eritique modeme ; Whitehead, Oas- 
pard de Coligny , Admiral ^ Prance (London, 1906), pp. 253/1 ; fVoude, 
HiiUfryo/3n(flaind(hoiadon, 1887), uu-z. ; Mariejol, ffistaire de France, etc., 
VI. i. 114/: 


the river were slain, and all in the Quartier Latin. But 
some who lodged oh the Bouth side (among them 
Montgomery, and Jean de Ferri&res, the Yidame de 
Chartres) escaped. 

Orders were sent to complete the massacre in the 
provinces. At Orl^ns the slaaghter lasted five days, and 
Protestants were slain in numbers at Meaux, Troyes, Bouen, 
Lyons, Toulouse, Bordeaux, and in many other places. The 
total number of victims has been variously estimated. 
Sully, the Prime Minister of Henry rv., who had good means 
of knowing, says that seventy thousand perished. Several 
thousands were slain in Paris alone. 

The news was variously received by Soman Catholic 
Europe. The German Bomanists, including the Emperor, 
were not slow to express their disapprobation. But Bome 
was illuminated in honour of the event, a medal was struck 
to commemorate the Hugonotorum Strages} and Cardinal 
Orsini was sent to convey to the King and Queen Mother 
the congratulations «of the Pope and the College of 
Cardinals. Philip of Spain was delighted, and is said to 
have laughed outright for the first and last time in his life. 
He congratulated the son on having such a mother, and 
the mother on having such a son. 

Catherine herself believed that the massacre had ended 
all her troubles. The Huguenots had been annihilated, she 
thought; and it is reported that when she saw Henry of 
Navarre bowing to the altar she burst out into a shrill laugh. 

§ 15. The Huguenot resistance after the Massacre, 

Catherine's dijfficulties were not ended. It was not 
so easy to exterminate the Huguenots. Most of the 

^ The existence of this medal has been unblushingly denied by some 
Roman Catholic controversialists. It is described and figured in the Jesoit 
Bonani's NvmianuUa Pontificum (Bome, 1689), i. S86. Two oommemoratiTe 
medals were struck in France, and on the reverse of one of them Charles ix. 
is represented as Hercules with a club in the one hand and a torch in the 
other slaying the seven-headed Hydra. They are figured in the Bulletin de 
la SocUU de Chittoire du Protettantieme fhin^is for 1865, pp. 139, 140. 


leaders had perished, but the people remained, cowed for a 
time undoubtedly, but soon to regain their courage. The 
Protestants held the strongholds of La Bochelle and 
Sanoerre, the one on the coast and the other in central 
France. The artisans and the small shopkeepers insisted 
that there should be no surrender. The sailors of La 
Hochelle fraternised with the Sea Beggars of Brill, and 
waged an implacable sea- war against the ships of Spain. 
Nimes and Montauban closed their gates against the 
soldiers of the King. Milhaud, Aubenas, Privas, Mirabel, 
Anduze, Sommiires, and other towns of the Yiverais and 
of the Cevennes became cities of refuge. All over France, 
the Huguenots, although they had lost their leaders, kept 
together, armed themselves, communicated with each other, 
maintained their religious services — though compelled 
generally to meet at night. 

The attempt to capture these Protestant strongholds 
made the Fourth Beligious War. La Rochelle was invested, 
beat back many assaults, was blockaded and endured famine, 
and in the end compelled its enemies to retire from its 
walls. Sancerre was less fortunata After the failure of 
an attempt to take it by assault. La Ch&tre, the general 
of the befflieging army, blockaded the town in the closest 
fashion. The citizens endured all the utmost horrors of 
famine* Five hundred adults and all the children under 
twelve years of age died of hunger. " Why weep," said a 
boy of ten, " to see me die of hunger ? I do not ask bread, 
mother : I know that you , have nona Since God wills 
that I die, thus we must accept it cheerfully. Was not 
that good man Lazarus hungry ? Have I not so read in 
the Bible ? " The survivors surrendered ; their lives were 
spared ; and on payment of a ransom of forty thousand 
livres the town was not pillaged. 

The war ended with the peace of Eochelle (July 157S), 
when liberty of conscience was accorded to all, but the right 
of public worship was permitted only to Eochelle, Nimes, 
Montauban, and in the houses of some of the principal 
Protestant nobles. These terms were hard in comparison 


with the rights which had been won before the Massacre 
of Saint Bartholomew ; but the Huguenots had reason for 
rejoicing. Their cause was still alive. Neither war, nor 
massacre, nor frauds innumerable had made any impression 
on the great mass of the French Protestants. 

The peace declared by the treaty of La Bochelle did 
not last long, and indeed was never universal The Pro- 
testants of the South used it to prepare for a renewal of 
conflict They remained under arms, perfecting their 
military organisation. They divided the districts which 
they controUed into regular governments, presided over by 
councils whose members were elected and were the military 
leaders of a Protestant nation for the time being separate 
from the kingdom of Franca They imposed taxes on 
Bomanists and Protestants, and confiscated the ecclesiastical 
revenues. They were able to stock their strongholds with 
provisions and munitions of war, and maintain a force of 
twenty thousand men ready for offensive action. 

Their councils at Nimes and Montauban formulated the 
conditions under which they would submit to the French 
Government. Nimes sent a deputation to the King fur- 
nished with a series of written articles, in which they 
demanded the free exercise of their religion in every part 
of France, the maintenance at royal expense of Huguenot 
garrisons in all the strongholds held by them, and the 
cession of two strong posts to be cities of refuge in each of 
the provinces of France. The demands of the council of 
Montauban went further. They added that the King 
must condenm the Massacre of St Bartholomew, execute 
justice on those who had perpetrated it, reverse the sen- 
tences passed on all the victims, approve of the Huguenot 
resistance, and declare that he praised la singvliire et 
admirahle bonti de Dieu who had still preserved his Pro- 
testant subjects They required also that the rights of the 
Protestant minority in France should be guaranteed by 
the Protestant States of Europe — by the German Protest- 
ant Princes, by Switzerland, England, and Scotland. They 
dated their document significantly August 24 th — ^the 


anmversary of the Massacre of St. Bartholomew. The 
depaties refused to discuss these terms ; they simply pre- 
sented them« The King might accept them; he might 
lefuse them. They were not to be modified. 

Catherine was both furious and confounded at the 
audacity of these '' rascals " (ces mis^ables), as she called 
them. She declared that Cond^, if he had been at the 
head of twenty thousand cavalry and fifty thousand 
infantry, would never have asked for the half of what these 
articles demanded. The Queen Mother found herself face 
to face with men on whom she might practise all her arts 
m vain, very different from the dehonnaire Huguenot princes 
whom she had been able to cajole with feminine graces 
and enervate with her " Flying Squadron." These farmers, 
citizens, artisans knew her and her Court, and called things 
by rude names. She herself was a ** murderess," and her 
" Flying Squadron " were " fallen women." She had cleared 
away the Huguenot aristocracy to find herself in presence 
of the Protestant democracy. 

The worst of it was that she dared not allow the 
^iog to give them a decided answer. A new force had 
been rising in France since Saint Bartholomew's Day — the 
Politiques} as they were called. They put France above 
religious parties, and were weary of the perpetual blood- 
shed ; they said that " a man does not cease to be a citizen 
because he is excommunicated " ; they declared that '' with 
the men they had lost in the religious wars they could 
have driven Spain out of the Low Countriea" They 
chafed under the rule of '' foreigners," of the Queen Mother 
and her Italians, of the Guises and their Jesuits. They 
were prepared to unite with the Huguenots in order to 
give France peaca They only required leaders who could 
represent the two sides of the coalition. If the Duke of 
Alen^on, the youngest brother of the King, and Henry of 
Navarre could escape from the Court and raise their stand- 
ards together, they were prepared to join them. 

Charles ix. died on Whitsunday 1574 of a disease 

^ La Ferris, Catherine de Mddieu et Us Foliiiquee ( Paris, 1894). 


which the tiiiiited blood of the Valois and the MediciB 
induced. The memories of Saint Bartholomew also 
hastened his death. Private memou*8 of courtiei's tell U8 
that in his last weeks of fever he had frightful dreams by 
day and by night He saw himself surrounded by dead 
bodies ; hideous faces covered with blood thrust themselves 
forward towards his. The crime had not been so much 
his as his mother's, but fie had something of a conscience, 
and felt its burden. '' £t ma M&re " was his last word — 
an appeal to his mother, whom he feared more than hia 

On Charles' death, Henry, Duke of Anjou, succeeded as 
Henry iii.^ He was in Poland — king of that distracted 
country. He abandoned his crown, evaded his subjects, 
and reached France in September 1574. His advent did 
not change matters much. Catherine still ruled in reality. 
The war went on with varying success in different parts of 
France. But the Duke of Anjou (the Duke of Alen^n 
took this title on his brother's accession) succeeded in 
escaping from Court (Sept 15th, 1575), and the King of 
Navarre also managed to elude his guardians (Feb. 3rd, 
1576). Anjou joined the Prince of Conde, who was at the 
head of a mixed force of Huguenots and Politiques. Henry 
of Navarre went into Poitou and remained there. His 
first act was to attend the Protestant worship, and im- 
mediately afterwards he renounced his forced adhesion to 
Eomanism. He did not join any of the parties in the 
field, but sent on his own demands to be forwarded to the 
King along with those of the confederates, adding to them 
the request that the King should aid him to recover the 
Spanish part of Navarre which had been forcibly annexed 
to Spain by Ferdinand of Aragon. 

The escape of the two Princes led in the end to the 
** Peace of Monsieur," the terms of which were published 
in the Edict of Beaulieu (May 6th, 1576). The right of 

^ Rcrre de TEstoile, Journal de Benri III, (Paris, 1875-84) ; Michelet, 
ffistoire de France, vols. zi. and xii ; Jackson, The Last *qf the Valois 
(London, 1888). 


public worship was given to Protestants in all towns and 
places within the kingdom of France, Paris only and towns 
where the Court was residing beiog excepted. Protestants 
received eight strongholds, partly as cities of refuge and 
partly as guarantees. Chambers of Justice "mi-parties" 
(composed of both Protestants and Soman Catholics) were 
established in each ParHament. The King actually apolo- 
gised for the Massacre of Saint Bartholomew, and declared 
that it had happened to his great regret ; and all sentences 
pronounced on the victims were reversed. This edict was 
much more favourable to the Protestants than any that 
had gone befora Almost all the Huguenots' demands had 
been granted. 

§ 16. ITie beginnings qf the League. 

Neither the King, who felt himself humiliated, nor the 
Bomanists, who were indignant, were inclined to submit 
long to the terms of peace. Some of the Bomanist leaders 
had long seen that the Huguenot enthusiasm and their 
organisation were enabling an actual minority to combat, 
on more than equal terms, a Bomanist majority. Some of 
the provincial leaders had been able to inspire their 
followers with zeal, and to bind them together in an organic 
sation by means of leagues. These provincial leagues 
suggested a universal organisation, which was fostered by 
Henry, Duke of Guise, and by Catherine de' Medici. This 
was the first form of that celebrated League which gave 
twenty years' life to the civil war in France. The Duke 
of Guise published a declaration in which he appealed to 
all Prance to associate together in defence of the Holy 
Church, Catholic and Boman, and of their King Henry iii., 
whose authority and rights were being taken from him by 
rebela All good Catholics were required to join the asso- 
ciation, and to furnish arms for the accomplishment of its 
designs. Those who refused were to be accounted enemies. 
Neutrals were to be harassed with '' toutes sortes d'offences 
et molestes''; open foes were to be fought strenuously. 


Paris was easily won to the League, and agents were sent 
abroad throughout France to enrol recruit& Heniy m. 
himself was enrolled, and led the movement. 

The King had summoned the States General to meet 
at Blois and hold their first session there on Dec. 6th, 1576. 
The League had attended to the elections, and the Estates 
declared unanimously for unity of religion. Upon this the 
King announced that the Edict of Beaulieu had been ex- 
tracted from him by force, and that he did not intend to 
keep it Two of the Estates, the Clergy and the Nobles, 
were prepared to compel unity at any cost The Third 
Estate was divided. A minority wished the unity brought 
about " by gentle and pacific ways " ; the majoiity asked 
for the immediate and complete suppression of the public 
worship of the Protestants, and for the banishment of all 
ministers, elders, and deacons. 

These decisions of the States General were taken by 
the Huguenots as a declaration of war, and they promptly 
began to arm themselves. It was the first war of the 
League, and the sixth of Beligion. It ended with the 
Peace of Bergerac (Sept. 15th, 1578), in which the terms 
granted to the Huguenots were rather worse than those of 
the Edict of Beaulieu. A seventh war ensued, terminated 
by the Peace of Fleix (Nov. 1580). 

The Duke of Anjou died (June 10th, 1584), and the 
King had no son. The heir to the throne, according to 
the Salic Law, which excluded females, was Henry of 
Navarre, a Protestant. On the death of Anjou, Henry m. 
found himself face to face with this fact. He knew and 
felt that he was the guardian of the dynastic rights of the 
French throne, and that his duty was to acknowledge Henry 
of Navarre as his successor. He accordingly sent one of 
his favourites, feperon, to prevail upon Henry of Navarre 
to become a Boman Catholio and come to Court Henry 
refused to do either. 


§ 17. The Ltagne becomes disloyal,^ 

Meanwhile the Bomanist nobles were taking their 
measures. Some of them met at Nancy towards tlie 
close of 1584 to reconstruct the League. They resolved 
to exclude the Protestant Bourbons from the throne, and 
proclaim the Cardinal Bourbon as the successor of Henry 
HL They hoped to obtain a Bull from the Pope 
authorising this selection ; and they received the support 
of Philip of Spain in the Treaty of Joinvdlle (Dea 31st, 

Paris did not wait for the sanction or recommendation 
of the nobles. A contemporary anonymous pamphlet, 
which is the principal source of our information, describes 
how four men, three of them ecclesiastics, met together 
to found the League of Paris. They discussed the names 
of suitable members, and, having selected a nucleus of 
trustworthy associates, they proceeded to elect a secret 
council of eight or nine who were to direct and 
control everything. The active work of recruiting was 
superintended by six associates, of whom one, the Sieur 
de la Bocheblond, was a member of the secret council. 
Soon all the most fanatical elements of the population 
of Paris belonged to this secret society, sworn to 
obey blindly the orders of the mysterious council who 
from a concealed background directed everything. The 
corporations of the various trades were won to the 
League; the butchers of Paris, for example, furnished a 
band of fifteen hundred resolute and dangerous men. Trusty 

^Dialogue tTentre U Maheu8tr» et le Manant; conUnant Us raison» de 
ieun ddbats et quediona en eee pr^aene tnmtiUe au royaume de France 1694 \ 
this me pamphlet is printed, in the ScUyre Menipp4e, de la vertu du 
Caiholieon SEtpagne, RaXiBhon (Amsterdam), 1709, ill. 867 jf. A'imoires 
de la Ligue, conlenaiU lee iv&Mmene lee phu remarquablee d^mis 1616 
jumpCik lapaix aeeard4e entre le roi de France et le roi d'Eapagne en 1698 
(Amsterdam, 1758); Pierre de TEstoile, Journal de Henri 111. (Paris, 
1876-^4), and JouttuU du rigne de ffewri IV, (The Hague, 1741) ; Bobiqaet, 
ParU et la Ligue (Paris, 1886) ; Victor de Ohalambert, ffieloire de la 
lAffue (Paris, 1854) ; Maniy, " La Commime de Paris de 1588 " (in Rev, dea 
Moi^dea^ Sept 1, 1871). 


emissaries were sent to the large towns of France, and 
secret societies on the plan of the one in Paris were 
formed and affiliated with the mother-society in Paris, 
all bound to execute the orders of the secret couucil of 
the capital The Sieur de la Bocheblond, whose brain 
had planned the whole organisation, was the medium of 
communication with the Bomanist Princes; and through 
him Henry, Duke of Guise, le Balafr^ as he was called 
from a scar on his face, was placed in command of this 
new and formidable instrument, to be wielded as he 
thought best for the extkpation of the Protestantism of 

The King had published an edict forbidding all 
armed assemblies, and this furnished the Leaguers with a 
pretext for sending forth their manifesto : Didaration des 
catises qui orU meu Manseigneur h Cardinal de Bourbon 
et lea Pairs, Princes, Seigneurs, viUes et communauiez 
caiholiques de ce royaume de Frawit : De s'opposer d, eeux 
qui par tous moyens s'efforcent de subvertir la religion 
caiholique et rUstat (SO Mars 1686). It was a skilfully 
drafted document, setting forth the danger to religion in 
the foreground, but touching on all the evils and jealousies 
which had arisen from the favouritism of Henry m. 
Guise at once began to enrol troops and commence 
open hostilities ; and almost all the great towns of France 
and most of the provinces in the North and in the Centre 
declared for the Leagua 

Henry m. was greatly alarmed. With the help of his 
mother he negotiated a treaty with the Leaguers, in which 
he promised to revoke all the earlier Edicts of Toleration, 
to prohibit; the exercise of Protestant public worship 
throughout the kingdom, to banish the ministers, and to 
give all Protestants the choice between becoming Bomau 
Catholics or leaving the realm within six months (Treaty 
of Nemours, July 7th, 1585). These terms were embodied 
*n an edict dated July 18th, 1585. The Pope, Sixtus v., 
thereupon published a Bull, which declared that the King 
of Navarre and the Prince of Condu, being heretics, were 


incapable of succeeding to the throne of France, deprived 
them of their estates, and absolved all their vassals from 
allegianca The King of Navarre replied to "Monsieur 
Sixtus, self-styled Pope, saving His Holiness/' and promised 
to avenge the insult done to himself and to the Parlements 
of Franca 

"The war of the three Henrys," from Henry nt, 
Henry of Guise, and Henry of Navarre, began in the later 
months of 1585. It was in some respects a triangular 
fight; for although the King and the Guises were both 
ostensibly combating the Huguenots, the Leaguers, headed 
by Guises, and the Loyalists, were by no meanis whole- 
hearted allies. It began unfavourably for the Protestants, 
but as it progressed the skilful generalship of the King of 
Navarre became more and more apparent — at Coutras 
(Oct 20th, 1587) he almost annihilated the royalist army. 
The King made several ineffectual attempts to win the 
Protestant leader to his side. Navarre would never 
consent to abjure his faith, and Henry m. made that an 
abeolute condition. 

While the war was going on in the west and centre 
of France, the League was strengthening its organisation 
and perfecting its plans. It had become more and more 
hostile to Henry m., and had become a secret revolutionary 
society. It drafted a complete programme for the im- 
mediate futura The cities and districts of France which 
felt themselves specially threatened by the Huguenots 
were to beseech the King to raise levies for their protec- 
tion. If he refused or procrastinated, they were to raise 
the troops themselves, to be commanded by officers in 
whom the League had confidence. They could then 
compel the King to place himself at the head of this 
army of the Leaguers, or show himself to be their open 
enemy by refusing. If the King died childless, the 
partisans of the League were to gather at Orleans and 
Paris, and were there to elect the Cardinal de Sourbon 
as the King of France. The Pope and the King of Spain 
were to be at once informed, when it had been arranged 



that His Holiness would send his benediction, and that His 
Majesty Would assist them with troops and supplies. A 
new form of oath was imposed on all the associates of the 
League. They were to swear allegiance to the King 
so long as he should show himself to be a good Catholic 
and refrained from favouring heretics. These instructions 
were sent down from the mother-society in Paris to the 
provinces, and the affiliated societies were recommended to 
keep in constant communication with Paris. Madame de 
Montpensier, sister to the Guises, at the same time 
directed the work of a band of preachers whose business 
it was to inflame the minds of the people in the capital 
and the provinces against the King and the Huguenots. 
She boasted that she did more work for the cause than 
her brothers were doing by the sword. 

The Guises, with this force behind them, tried to 
force the King to make new concessions — ^to publish the 
decisions of the Council of Trent in France (a thing that 
had not been done); to establish the Inquisition in 
"France ; to order the execution of all Huguenot prisoners 
who would not promise to abjure their religion; and to 
remove from the armies all officers of whom the League 
did not approve. The mother-society in Paris prepared 
for his refusal by organising a secret revolutionary govern- 
ment for the city. It was called "The Sixteen," being 
one for each of the sixteen sections of Paris. This 
government was under the orders of Guise, who com- 
municated with them through an agent of his called 
Maynevilla Plot after plot was made to get possession 
of the King's person ; and but for the activity and informa- 
tion of Nicholas Poulain, an officer of police who managed 
to secure private information, they would have been 


I 18. The Day of Barricades} 

The King redoubled his guards, and ordered four 
thousand Swiss troops which he had stationed at Lagny 
into the suburbs of Paris. The Parisian Leaguers in 
alarm sent for the Duke of Guise; and Guise, in spite 
of a prohibitive order from the King, entered the city. 
When he was recognised he was received with acclamations 
by the Parisian crowd. The Queen-Mother induced the 
King to receive . him, which he did rather ungraciously. 
OflBcers and men devoted to the League crowded into 
Paria The King, having tried in vain to prevent the 
entry of all suspected persons, at last ordered the Swiss 
into Paris (May 12th, 1588). The citizens flew to arms, 
and converted Paris into a stronghold. It was " the day 
of Barricade&" Chains were stretched across the streets, 
and behind them were piled beams, benches, carts, great 
barrels fiUed with stones or gravel. Houses were loop- 
holed and windows protected. Behind these defences men 
were stationed with arquebuses; and the women and 
children were provided with heaps of stones. Guise had 
remained in his house, but his officers were to be seen 
moving through the crowds and directing the defence. 
The Swiss troops found themselves caught in a trap, and 
helpless. Henry m. was compelled to ask Guise to inter- 
fere in order to save his soldiers. The King had to 
undergo further humiliation. The citizens proposed to 
attack the Louvre and seize the King's person. Guise 
had to be appealed to again. He had an interview with 
the King on the 1 3th, at which Henry m. was forced to 
agree to all the demands of the League, and to leave the 
conduct of the war against the Huguenots in the hands 
of the leader of the League. After the interview the 
King was able to escape secretly from Paris. 

The day df the " Barricades " had proved to Henry in. 
that the League was master in his capital. The meeting 

' The scenes on the Day of the Barricades are described in a con 
tempcKTuy paper printed in Saiyyt Menipp4e (ed. of 1709), iii. 89/1 


of the States General at Blois (Oct 1588) was to show him 
that the country had also turned against him. 

The elections had been looked after by the Guises, and 
had taken place while the impression produced by the 
revolt of Paris was at its height. The League commanded 
an immense majority in all the three £state& The 
business before them was grava The finances of the 
kingdom were in disorder ; favouritism had not been got 
rid of ; and no one could trust the King's word. Above 
all, the religious question was embittering every mind. 
The Estates met under the influence of a religious 
exaltation fanned by the priest& On the 9th of OcL 
representatives of the three Estates went to Mass t(^ther. 
During the communion the assistant clergy chanted the 
well-known hymns, — Pange lingua gloriosi, saitUaris Hostia, 
Ave verum Carpus naium, — and the excitement was immense. 
The members of the Estates had never been so united. 

Yet the King had a moment of unwonted icourage. 
He had resolved to denounce the League as the source 
of the disorders in the kingdom. He declared that be 
would not allow a League to exist within the realm. He 
only succeeded in making the leaders furious. His bravado 
soon ceased. The Ccurdinal de Bourbon compelled him to 
omit from the published version of his speech the objection- 
able expressions. The Estates forced him to swear that be 
would not permit any religion within the kingdom but the 
Boman. This done, he was received with cries of Vive le 
Roi, and was accompanied to his house with acclamations. 
But he was compelled to see the Duke of Guise receive the 
office of Lieutenant-General, which placed the army under 
his command ; and be felt that he would never be " master 
in his own house " until that man had been removed from 
his path. 

The news of the completeness of the destruction of the 
Armada bad been filtering through France* the fear of 
Spain was to some extent removed, and England might help 
the King if he persisted in a policy of tolerating his Pro- 
testant subjeot& It is probable that he confided his project 


of getting rid of Guise to some of his more intimate coun« 
cillors, and that they assured him that it would be impos- 
sible to remove such a powerful subject by legal means. 
The Duke and his brother the Cardinal of Guise were 
summoned to a meeting of the Council. They had scarcely 
taken their seats when they were asked to see the King in 
his private apartments. There Guise was assassinated, 
and the Cardinal arrested, and slain the next day.^ The 
Cardinal de Bourbon and the young Prince de Joinville 
(now Duke of Guise by his father's death) were arrested 
and imprisoned. Orders were given to arrest the Duchess 
of Nemours (Guise's mother), the Duke and Duchess of 
Elboeuf, the Count de Brissac, and other prominent 
Leaguers. The King's guards invaded the sittings of the 
States General to carry out these orders. The bodies of 
the two Guises were burnt, and the ashes thrown into the 

The news of the assassination raised the wildest rage in 
Paris. The League proclaimed itself a revolutionary society. 
The city organised itself in its sections. A council was 
appointed for each section to strengthen the hands of the 
^ Sixteen." Preachers caused their audiences to swear that 
obey would spend the last farthing in their purses and the 
last drop of blood in their bodies to avenge the slaughtered 
princes. The Sorbonne in solemn conclave declared that 
the actions of Henry ni. had absolved his subjects from their 
allegiance. The " Sixteen " drove from ParlemerU «dl sus- 
pected persons ; and, thus purged, the ParUment of Paris 
ranged itself on the sidei of the revolution. The Duke of 
Mayenne, the sole surviving brother of Henry of Guise, was 
summoned to Pari& An assembly of the citizens of the 
capital elected a Council General qf the Union of Catholics 
to manage the affairs of the State and to confer with all 
the Catholic towns and provinces of France. Deputies sent 
by these towns and provinces were to be members of the 
Council The Duke of Mayenne was appointed by the 

' Brown, "The Assassination of the Guises as described by the Venetian 
Ambassador" {Bug, HUL SevUw, x. 804). 


Council the IdeuUnarU-General of the State and Crown of 
France, The new Government had its seal — the Seal of the 
Kingdom of France. The larger number of the great towns 
of France adhered to this provisional and revolutionary 

In the midst of these tumults Catherine de' Medici 
died (Jan. 5th, 1589). 

§ 19. The King taJces refuge with the Huguenots. 

The miserable King had no resource left but to throw 
himself upon the protection of the Protestants. He hesi- 
tated at first, fearing threatened papal excommunication. 
Henry of Navarre's bearing during these months of anxiety 
had been admirabla After the meeting of the States 
General at Blois, he had issued a stirring appeal to the 
nation, pleading for peace — the one thing needed for the 
distracted and fevered country. He now assured the King 
of his loyalty, and promised that he would never deny to 
Boman Catholics that liberty of conscience and worship 
which he claimed. A treaty was arranged, and the King of 
Navarre went to meet Henry in. at Tours. He arrived just 
in tima Mayenne at the head of an avenging army of 
Leaguers bad started as soon as the provisional government 
had been established in Paris. He had taken by assault 
a suburb of the town, and was about to attack the city of 
Tours itself, when he found the Protestant vanguard 
guarding the bridge over the Loire, and had to retreat 
He was slowly forced back towards Paris. The battle of 
Senlis, in which a much smaller force of Huguenots routed 
the Duke d'Aumale, who had been reinforced by the Parisian 
militia, opened the way to Paris. The King of Navarre 
pressed on. Town after town was taken, and the forces of 
the two kings, increased by fourteen thousand Swiss and 
Germans, were soon able to seize the bridge of St Cloud 
and invest the capital on the south and west (July 29thf 
1589). An assault was fixed for Aug. 2nd. 

Since the murder of the Guises, Paris had been a caldron 


of seething excitement The whole population, " avec dou- 
leuT et gemissements hien grandsl* had assisted at the funeral 
service for '' the Martyrs/' and the baptism of the 
postbumotis son of the slaughtered Duke had been a civic 
ceremony. The Bull "monitory" of Pope Sixtus v., 
posted up in Bome on May 24th, which directed Henry 
IIL OB pain of excommunication to release the imprisoned 
prelates within ten days, and to appear either personally 
or by proxy within sixty days before the Curia to answer 
for the murder of a Prince of the Church, had fanned the 
excitement. Almost every day the Parisians saw pro- 
cessions of students, of women, of children, defiling through 
their streets. They marched from shrine to shrine, with 
naked feet, dad only in their shirts, defying the cold of 
winter. Parishioners dragged their priests out of bed to 
head nocturnal processions. The hatred of Henry iii. 
became almost a madnesa The Cordeliers decapitated his 
portrait& Parish priests made images of the King in wax, 
placed them on their altars, and practised on them magical 
incantations, in the hope of doing deadly harm to the 
living man. Bands of children carried lighted candles, 
which they extinguished to cries of, " Chd extinguish thus 
the raee of the Valoie." 

Among the most excited members of this fevered 
throng was a young Jacobin monk, Jacques Clement, by 
birth a peasant, of scanty intelligence, and tough, violent 
manners. His excitement grew with the perils of the city. 
He consulted a theologian in whom he had confidence, and 
got from him a guarded answer that it might be lawful to 
slay a tyrant. He prayed, fasted, went through a course 
of maceration of the body. He saw visions. He believed 
that he heard voices, and that he received definite orders 
to give his life in order to slay the Kiug. He confided 
his purpose to friends, who approved of it and helped his 
preparations. He was able to leave the city, to pass through 
the beleaguering lines, and to get private audience of the 
King. He presented a letter, and while Henry was reading 
it stabbed him in the lower part of the body. The deed 


done, the monk raised himself to his full height, extended 
his arms to form himself into a crucifix, and received 
without flinching his deathblow from La Guesle and other 
attendants (Aug. Ist, 1589).^ 

The King lingered until the following morning, and then 
expired, commending Henry of Navarre to his companions 
as his legitimate successor. 

The news of the assassination was received in Paris 
with wild delight. The Duchess de Nemours, the mother 
of the Guises, and the Duchess de Montpensier, their sister, 
went everywhere in the streets describing " the heroic act of 
Jacques Clement." The former mounted the steps of the 
High Altar in the church of the Cordeliers to proclaim the 
news to the people. The citizens, high and low, brought 
out their tables into the streets, and they drank, sang, shouted 
and danced in honour of the news. They swore that they 
would never accept a Protestant king ' and the Cardinal 
de Bourbon, still a prisoner, was proclaimed as Charles x. 

At Tours, on the other hand, the fact that the heir to 
the throne was a Protestant, threw the Boman Catholic 
nobles into a state of perplexity. They had no sympathy 
with the League, but many felt that they could not serve 
a Protestant king. They pressed round the new King, 
beseeching him to abjure his faith at once. Henry refused 
to do what would humiliate himself, and could not be 
accepted as an act of sincerity. On the other hand, the 

^ ffiiUdre de France depute lee origines jusqu'd la Xevoiuiion (Paris, 
1904), VI. i. 298/., by H. Mari^joL 

' They argued : *' Je vons demande, youdriez-vons bailler une fille 
pudique, honneste, belle, verteuse et roodeste, k un homme desbauoh^ et 
abandonn6 k tous vices, aous ombre qu'il vous diroit qu'il s'amenderoit, et 
qu*il n'y retoumoit estant mari^, que voos luy osteriez vostre fille T Je crois 
que tout boD pere de famille ne se mettroit en ce hazard, ou feroit un tour 
d'homme sans oervelle. Or c'eet TEglise Catholique, Apoetolique et Bomaine 
qui est une puoelle, belle et houneste en cette France qui u*a jamais eu pour 
Roy un hdr^tique, mais tous bons Catholiques et assidez k Jesus-Christ son 
esponx. Voudriez-vous done bailler cette Eglise que les Francois ont tant 
fid^lement servie et honour^e sous lenr Rois Catholiques, aiyoard*huy la pro- 
stitner entre les mains d'un h6r6tique, relaps et exoommunie f " — "Dialogu* 
d'entre le Maheustre et U Manaiit" {Saiyre Menipp4e, iii. S97) 


nobles of Champagne, Ficardy, and the Isle of France sent 
assurances of allegiance ; the Duke of Montpensier, the 
husband of the Leaguer Duchess, promised his support; 
and the Swiss mercenaries declared that they would serve 
for two months without pay. 

§ 20. The Declaration of Henry iv} 

Thus encouraged, Henry published his famous declara- 
tion (Aug. 4th, 1589). He promised that the Koman 
Catholic would remain the religion of the realm, and that 
he would attempt no innovations. He declared that he 
was willing to be instructed in its tenets, and that within 
six months, if it were possible, he would summon a National 
Council. The Boman Catholics would be retained in their 
goveriiments and charges ; the Protestants would keep the 
strongholds which were at present in their hands ; but all 
fortified places when reduced would be entrusted to Eoman 
Catholics and none other. This declaration was signed 
by two Princes of the Blood, the Prince of Conti and the 
Duke of Montpensier ; by three Dukes and Peers, Longue- 
ville, Luxembourg-Piney, and Bohan-Montbazon ; by two 
Marshals of France, Biron and d'Aumont ; and by several 
great officers. Notwithstanding, the defections were 
serious ; all the Parlements save that of Bordeaux thundered 
against the heretic King ; all the great towns save Tours, 
Bordeaux, Ch&lons, langres, Compi^gne, and Clermont 
declared for the League. The greater part of the kingdom 

1 SoTTRCBS : JReeuHl des Lettr^ Missives de Jlenri IV, {Oolleciion de Doetc- 
mints ifUdits, Paris, 1843-72), S vuls. ; Albert, RdaxUmi degli Am'^asciatori 
VtiyeH (Florence, 1860, etc.) ; Charles, Duo de MayeoDe, Correspondaiiee, 

2 Yols. (Paris, 1860) ; Sir H. Upton, Correspondence {Roxburgh Club, London, 
1847); I>uPle88is-Monia7, M6moireSt 4 vols. (Amsterdam, 1624-52) ; Madame 
Da Plessis-Momay, Mimaires swr la Vie de Du Plessis-Momay (Paris, 
1868-69, See, Hist, de France) ; Marshal de Bassompierre, Journal dema 
vie 1579-1640, 4 vols. (Paris, 1 870-77, Soe, Hist, de France) ; Saiire Menipp 'e, 

3 Tolfl. (Batisbon (Amsterdam), 1709) ; B^noit, Histoire de Vidit de Nantes, 

Later Books : Baird, The HugtLenots and Hewry of Navarre (London, 
1887) ; Jackson, The First of the Bourbons, 2 vols. (London, 1890) ; Lavisse, 
Histoire de France, VI. i. ii (ParlB, 1904-6). 


was in revolt. The royalist troops dwindled away. It 
was hopeless to think of attacking Paris, and Henry iv. 
marched for Normandy with scarcely seven thousand men. 
He wished to be on the sea coast in hope of succour from 

The Duke of Mayenne followed him with an arm^ of 
thirty thousand men. He had promised to the Parisians 
to throw the '' Beamese " into the sea, or to bring him in 
chains to Paris. But it was not so easy to catch the 
" Beamesa" In the series of marches, countermarches, and 
skirmishes which is known as the battle of Arques, the 
advantage was on the side of the King; and when 
Mayenne attempted to take Dieppe by a^ult, he was 
badly defeated (Sept. 24th, 1589). Then followed 
marches and countermarches; the King now threatening 
Paris and then retreating, until at last the royalist troops 
atid the Leaguers met at Ivry. The King had two 
thousand cavalry and eight thousand infantry to meet eight 
thousand cavalry and twelve thousand infantry 
(including seventeen hundred Spanish troops sent by the 
Duke of Parma) under the command of Mayenne. The 
battle resulted in a surprising and decisive victorv for the 
King. Mayenne and his cousin d'Aumale escaj)ed only by 
ihe swiftness of their horses (March 14th, 1590). 

It is needless to say much about the war or about the 
schemes of parties. Henry invested Paris, and had almost 
starved it into surrender, when it was revictualled by an 
army led from the Low Countries by the Duke of Parma. 
Henry took town after town, and gradually isolated the capital. 
In 1590 (May 10th) the old Cardinal Bourbon (Charles 
X.) died, and the Leiaguers lost even the semblance of a 
legitimate king. The more fanatical members of the party, 
represented by the " Sixteen " of Paris, would have been 
content to place France under the dominion of Spain 
rather than see a heretic king. The Duke of Mayenne 
had long cherished dreams that the crown might come to 
him. But the great mass of the influential people of 
France who had not yet professed allegiance to Henry rv. 



(and many who had) had an ahnoet equal dread of Spanish 
domination and of a heretic ruler. 

§ 21. Henry iv, "becomes a Roman Catholic. 

Henry at last resolved to conform to the Roman 
Catholic religion as the only means of giving peace to his 
distracted kingdom. He informed the loyalist Archbishop 
of Bourges of his intention to be instructed in the Soman 
Catholic religion with a view to conversion. The Archbishop 
was able to announce this at the conference of Suresnes, 
and the news spread instantly over France. With his 
usual tact, Hegfj wrote with his own hand to several of 
the parish priests of Paris announcing his intention, and 
invited them to meet him at Mantes to give him instruc- 
tion. At least one of them had been a furious Leaguer, 
and was won to be an enthusiastic loyalist. 

The ceremony of the reception of Henry rv. into the 
Boman Catholic Church took place at Saint Denis, about 
four and a half miles to the north of Paris. The scene had 
all the appearance of some popular festival The ancient 
church iui^which the Kings of France had for generations 
been buried, in which Jeanne d'Arc had hung up her arms, 
was decked with splendid tapestries, and the streets leading 
to it festooned with flowers. Multitudes of citizens had 
come from rebel Paris to swell the throng and to shout 
Vive le Boi ! as Henry, escorted by a brilliant procession of 
nobles emd guards, passed slowly to the churcL The 
clergy, headed by the Archbishop of Bourges, met him at 
the door. The King dismounted, knelt, swore to live and 
die in the catholic apostolic and Soman religion, and 
renounced all the heresies which it condemned. The 
Archbishop gave him absolution, took him by the hand and 
led him into the church. There, kneeling before the High 
Altar, the King repeated his oath, confessed, and communi- 
cated. France had now a Soman Catholic as well as a 
legitimate King. Jlven if it be admitted that Henry rv. 
was not a man of any depth of religious feeling, the act of 


abjuration must have been a humiliation for the son of 
Jeanne d'Albret. He never was a man who wore his heart 
on his sleeve, and his well-known saying, that ** Paris was 
well worth a Mass/' had as much bitterness in it as gaiety. 
He had paled with suppressed passion at Tours (1589) 
when the Boman Catholio nobles had urged him to become 
a Bomanist Had the success which followed his arms 
up to the battle of Ivry continued unbroken, it is probable 
that the ceremony at Saint Denis would never have taken 
place. But Parma's invasion of France, which compelled 
the King to raise the siege of Paris, was the beginning of 
difficulties which seemed insurmountable. The dissensions 
of parties within the realm, and the presence of foreigners 
on the soil of France (Walloon, Spemish, Neapolitan, and 
Savoyard), were bringing France to the verge of dissolution. 
Henry believed that there was only one way to end the 
strife, and he sacrificed his convictions to his patriotism. 

With Henry's change of religion the condition of things 
changed as if by magic The League seemed to dissolve. 
Tenders of allegiance poured in from all sides, from nobles, 
provinces, and towns. Bheims was still in possession of 
the Guises, and the anointing and crowning took place at 
Chartres (Feb. 27th, 1594). The manifestations of loyalty 

On the evening of the day on which Henry had 
been received into the Boman Catholic Church at Saint 
Denis, he had recklessly ridden up to the crest of the 
height of Montmartre and looked down on Paris, which was 
still in the hands of the League. The feelings of the 
Parisians were also changing. The League was seamed 
with dissensions; Mayenne had quarrelled with the 
''Sixteen," and the partisans of these fanatics of the 
League had street brawls with the citizens of more moderate 
opinions. Farlement took courage and denounced the 
presence of Spanish soldiers within the capital. The 
loyalists opened the way for the royal troops, Henry entered 
Paris (March 22nd), and marched to Notre Dame, where 
the clergy chanted the Te Deum. From the cathedral he 


rode to the Louvre through streets througed with people, 
who pressed up to his very stirrups to see their King, and 
made the tall houses re-echo with their loyalist shoutings. 
Such a royal entry had not been seen for generations, and 
took everyone by surprise. Next day the foreign troops 
left the city. The King watched their departure from an 
open window in the Louvre, and as their chiefs passed he 
called out gaily, " My compliments to your Master. You 
need not come back." 

With the return of Paris to fealty, almost all signs 
of disaffection dep6u*ted ; and the King's proclamation of 
amnesty for all past rebellions completed the conquest of 
his peopla France was again united after thirty years of 
dvil war. 

§ 22. The JSdia of NarUes 

The union of all Frenchmen to accept Henry rv. as 
their King had not changed the legal position of the Pro- 
testants. The laws against them were still in force ; they 
had nothing but the King's word promising protection to 
trust to. The war with Spain delayed matters, but when 
peace was made the time came for Henry to fulfil his 
pledges to his former companions. They had been chafing 
under the delay. At a General Assembly held at Mantes 
(October 1593-January 1594), the members had renewed 
their oath to live and to die true to their confession of 
faith, and year by year a General Assembly met to discuss 
their political disabilities as well as to conduct their 
ecclesiastical business. They had divided France into nine 
divisions under provincial synods, and had the appearance 
vo men of that century of a kingdom within a kingdom. 
They demanded equal civic rights with their Soman 
Catholic fellow-subjects, and guarantees for their protection. 
At length, in 1697, four delegates were appointed with 
full powers to confer with the King. Out of these 
n^otiations came the Edict of Nantes^ the Charter of 
French Protestantism. 



This celebrated edict was drawn up in ninety -five 
more general articles, which were signed on April 13th, 
and in fifty-six -more particular articles which were signed 
on May 2nd (1598). Two Brevets, dated 13th and 30th 
of Aprils were added, dealing with the treatment of Pro- 
testant ministers, and with the strongholds given to the 
Protestants. The Articles were verified and registered 
by ParkmerUs ; the Brevets were guaranteed simply by 
the King's word. 

The Edict of Nantes codified and enlarged the rights 
given to the Protestants of France by the Edict of Poitiers 
(1577), the Convention of N^rac (1678), the treaty of 
Fleix (1580), the Declaration of Saint-Cloud (1589), the 
Edict of Mantes (1591), the Articles of Mantes (1593). 
and the Edict of Saint-Germain (1594). 

It secured complete liberty of conscience everywhere 
within the realm, to the extent that no one was to be per- 
secuted or molested in any way because of his religion, nor 
be compelled to do anything contrary to its tenets ; and 
this carried with it the right of private or secret worship. 
The full and free right of public worship was granted in 
all places in which it existed during the years 1596 and 
1597, or where it had been granted by the Edict of Poitiers 
interpreted by the Convention of N^rac and the treaty of 
Fleix (some two hundred towns) ; and, in addition, in two 
places within every haUliage and sinSchavj^ie in the realm. 
It was also permitted in the principal castles of Protestant 
seigneurs hatUs justiders (some three thousand), whether the 
proprietor was in residence or not, and in their other castles, 
the proprietor being in residence ; to nobles who were not 
hauts justiders, provided the audience did not consist of more 
than thirty persons over and above relations of the family. 
Even at the Court the high officers of the Crown, the great 
nobles, all governors and lieutenants-general, and captains 
of the guards, had the liberty of worship in their apart- 
ments provided the doors were kept shut and there was 
no loud singing of psalms, noise, or open scandal. 

Protestants were granted full civil rights and protec- 



tion, entry into all universities, schools, and hospitals, and 
admission to all public office& The Parkment of Paris 
admitted six Protestant councillors. And Protestant 
ministers were granted the exemptions from military 
service and such charges as the Bomanist clergy enjoyed. 
Special Chambers (CJiamhres (T^dit) were established in the 
ParlemenU to try cases in which Protestants were interested. 
In the Parlement of Paris this Chamber consisted of six 
specially chosen Soman Catholics and one Protestant ; in 
other ParUments, the Chambers were composed of equal 
numbers of Bomanists and Protestants (mi-parties^ The 
Protestants were permitted to hold their ecclesiastical 
assemblies—rconsistories, colloquies, and synods, national 
and provincial ; they were even allowed to meet to discuss 
political questions, provided they first secured the permis- 
sion of the King. 

They remained in complete control of two hundred 
towns, including La Eochelle, Montauban, and Montpellier, 
strongholds of exceptional strength. They were to retain 
these places until 1607, but the right was prolonged for 
five years more. The State paid the expenses of the 
troops which garrisoned these Protestant fortified places ; 
it paid the governors, who were always Protestant& 
When it is remembered that the royal army in time of 
peace did not exceed ten thousand men, and that the 
Huguenots could raise twenty -five thousand troops, it will 
be soen that Henry rv. did his utmost to provide guarantees 
against a return to a reign of intolerance. 

Protected in this way, the Huguenot Church of France 
speedily took a foremost place among the Protestant 
Churches of Europe. Theological colleges were established 
at Sedan, Montauban, and Saumur. Learning and piety 
flourished, and French theology was always a counterpoise 
to the narrow Beformed Scholastic of Switzerland and of 


I 1. The PolUiccU SUuaHon. 

It was not until 1581 that the United Provinces took rank 
as a Protestant nation, notwithstanding the fact that the 
Netherlands furnished the first martyrs of the Beformation 
in the persons of Henry Yoes and John Esch, Augustinian 
monks, who Were burnt at Antwerp (July 31st, 1523). 

' As they were led to the stake they cried with a 
loud voice that they were Christians ; and when they were 
fastened to it, and the fire was kindled, they rehearsed the 
twelve articles of the Greed, and after that the hymn Te 
Deum laudamuSf which each of them sang verse by verse 
alternately until the flames deprived them both of voice 
and life." « 

1 SouROia : Brandt, The Hidofy ofiks Btformation and ether eccUHatUeal 
iransactiona in and ahowt the Low-Countries (Engliah tniiBlation in 4 vols, 
fol., London, 1720 : the original in Dutch was published in 1671) ; Brieger, 
Aleander tmd Luther (Gotha, 1894) ; Kalkoff, Die DespaUhen dee nunUus 
Aleander {HiiUf 1897) ; Ponllet Piot, Correepondcmee du Cardinal Cfranvelle^ 
12 vols. (Brussels, 1878-97) ; Weiss, Papiers d&at du Cardinal GranveUe, 
9 vols. (Paris, 1841-62) ; Gachard, Correspondanee de Philippe II, swrUm 
affaires dee Pays Jfas, 6 toIs. (Brussels, 1848-79); Corre^sondance dm 
Marguerite dAufriche aoec Philippe II, , 1664rS8 (Brussels, 1867-87) ; 
Correspimdance de Ouillaume le Tacitumet Prince d Orange, 6 rols. (Brussels, 
1847-57) ; van Prinsterer, Archives ou correspondanee inidiU de la Maison 
dOranje- Nassau, in two series, 9 and 6 vols. (Utrecht, 1841-61) ; Benon 
de France, Histoire des troubles des Pays-Bas, 8 vols. (Brussels, 1886-92) ; 
M&mmres anonymes sur Us troubles des Pays-Bos, 166SS0 (in the CoUecUcn 
des M^moires sur Vhistoire de Belgique). 

Later Books : Arinstrong, Charles V, (London, 1902) ; Motley, The Rise 
of the IhUeh Republic (London, 1865) ; Putnam, William the Silent (New 
York, 1895) ; Harrison, William the Silent (London, 1897) ; Cambridge 
Modem History, ill. vi. vii. ((Cambridge, 1904). 

' Brandt, The History of the Beformation, eto. L 49 ; efl Journal cTtifi 
Bourgeois de Paris, p. 185. 


The struggle for religious liberty, combined latterly 
with one for national independence from Spain, lasted 
therefore for almost sixty years. 

When the lifelong duel between Charles the Bold of 
Burgundy and Louis XL of France ended with the death 
of the former on the battlefield under the walls of Nancy 
(January 4th, 1477), Louis was able to annex to France a 
large portion of the heterogeneous possessions of the Dukes 
of Burgundy, and Mary of Burgundy carried the remainder 
as her marriage portion (May 1477) to Maximilian of 
Austria, the future Emperor. Speaking roughly, and not 
quite accurately, those portions of the Burgundian lands 
which had been fitfz of France went to Louis, while Mary 
and Maximilian retained those which were jUfs of the 
Empira The son of Maximilian and Mary, Philip the 
Handsome, married Juana (August 1496), the second 
daughter and ultimate heiress of Isabella and Ferdinand 
of Spain, and their son was Charles v.. Emperor of Germany 
(b. February 24th, 1500), who inherited the Netherlands 
from his father and Spain from his mother, and thus 
linked the Netherlands to Spain. Philip died in 1506, 
leaving Charles, a boy of six years of age, the ruler of the 
Netherlands. His paternal aunt, Margaret, the daughter 
of the Emperor Maximilian, governed in the Netherlands 
during his minority, and, owing to Juana's illness (an 
illness ending in madness), mothered her brother's 
children. Margaret's regency ended in 151 5» and the 
earlier history of the Seformation in the Netherlands 
belongs either to the period of the personal rule of Charles 
or to that of the Begents whom he appointed to act for 

The land, a delta of great rivers liable to overflow 
their banks, or a coast-line on which the sea made con- 
tinual encroachment, produced a people hardy, strenuous, 
and independent. Their stniggles with nature had braced 
their faculties. Municipal life had struck its roots deeply 
into the soil of the Netherlands, and its cities could vie 
with those of Italy in industry and intelligence. The 


Bouthem provinces were the home of the Trouv&res.^ Jan 
van-Buysbroeo, the most heart-searching of speculative 
Mystics, had been a curate of St Gudule's in Brussels. 
His pupil, Gerard Groot, had founded the lay-community 
of the Brethren of the Common Lot for the purpose of 
spreading Christian education among the laity ; and the 
schools and convents of the Brethren had spread through 
the Netherlands and central Germany. Thomas k Kempi8» 
the author of the Imitatio Christie had lived most of his 
long life of ninety years in a small convent at Zwolle, 
within the territories of Utrecht. Men who have been 
called " Beformers before the Beformation/' John Pupper 
of Groch and John Wessel, both belonged to the Nether- 
lands. Art flourished there in the fifteenth century in the 
persons of Hubert and Jan van Eyck and of Hans Memling. 
The Chambers of Oratory {Bederijkers) to begin with 
probably unions for the performance of miracle plays or 
moralities, became confraternities not unlike the societies 
of meisUrsdnger in Germany, and gradually acquired the 
character of literary associations, which diffused not merely 
culture, but also habits of independent thinking among the 

Intellectual life had become less exuberant in the end 
of the fifteenth century ; but the Netherlands, nevertheless, 
produced Alexander Hegius, the greatest educational 
reformer of his time, and Erasmus the prince of the 
Humanists. Nor can the influence of the Chambers of 
Oratory have died out, for they had a great effect on 
the Beformation movement.' 

When Charles assumed the government of the 
Netherlands, he found himself at the head of a group 
of duchies, lordships, counties, and municipalities which 
had little appearance of a compact principality, and he 
applied himself, like other princes of his time in the same 

^ A ooUection of their ehantoTu cFamoutf jeuas-parlis, patiaureUeM, and 
fabliaux wiU be foand in Scheler's Trouvires Beiges (Braxellee, 1876). 

* Oorrespondanee de Philippe II. eur lee c^airee dee Paye-Boi, L 821, 327, 
879 ; Cifrrespondanee de Ouilkwme U TacUvme, ii. 161, 168. 


BittiatioD, to give them a unity both poUtical and territorial. 
He was so successful that he was able to hand over to his 
son, Philip n. of Spain, an almost thoroughly organised 
Stata The divisions which Charles largely overcame 
reappeared to some extent in the revolt against Philip and 
Romanism, and therefore in a measure concern the history 
of the Beformation. How Charles made his scattered 
Netherland inheritance territorially compact need not be 
told in detail Friesland was secured (1515); the 
acquisition of temporal sovereignty over the ecclesiastical 
province of Utrecht (1527) united Holland ^ith Friesland ; 
Gronningen and the lands ruled by that turbulent city 
placed themselves under the government of Charles (1536); 
and the death of Charles of Egmont (1538), Count of 
Gueldres, completed the unification of the northern and 
central districta The vague hold which France kept in 
some of the southern portions of the country was gradually 
loosened. Charles failed in the south-east. Gnie inde- 
pendent principality of Lorraine lay between Luxemburg 
and Franche-Comt^, and the Netherland Government 
could not seize it by purchase, treaty, or conquest. One 
and the same system of law regulated the rights and the 
duties of the whole population ; and all the provinces 
were united into one principality by the reorganisation of 
a States General, which met almost annually, and which 
had a real if vaguely defined power to regulate the taxa- 
tion of the country. 

But although political and geographical difficulties 
might be more or less overcome, others remained which 
were not so easily disposed of. One set arose from the 
fact that the seventeen provinces were divided by race 
and by languaga The Dutchmen in the north were dif- 
ferent in interests and in . sentiment from the Flemings 
in the centre ; and both had little in common with the 
French-speaking provinces in the south. The other was 
due to the differing boundaries of the ecclesiastical and 
civil jurisdictions. When Charles began to rule in 1515. 
the only territorial see was Arras. Toumai, Utrecht 


and Cambrai became territorial before the abdication of 
Charlea But the confusion between civil and ecclesi- 
astical jurisdiction may be seen at a glance when it is 
remembered that a great part of the Frisian lands were 
subject to the German Sees of Munster, Minden, Paderbom, 
and Osnabriick ; and that no less than six bishops, none of 
them belonging to the Netherlands, divided the ecclesiastical 
rule over Luxemburg. Charles' proposals to establish six new 
bishoprics, plans invariably thwarted by the Boman Curia, 
were meant to give the Low Countries a national episcopate. 

§ 2. The beginnings of the EefomuUion 

The people of the Netherlands had been singularly 
prepared for the great religious revival of the sixteenth 
century by the work of the Brethren of the Common Lot 
and their schools. It was the aim of Gerard Groot, their 
founder, and also of Florentius Sadevynszoon, his great 
educational assistant, to see " that the root of study and 
the mirror of life must, in the first place, be the Gospel of 
Christ." Their pupils were taught to read the Bible in 
Latin, and the Brethren contended publicly for translations 
of the Scriptures in the vulgar tonguea There is evidence 
to show that the Vulgate was well known in the Nether- 
lands in the end of the fifteenth century, and a trans- 
lation of the Bible into Dutch was published at Delft in 
1477^ Small tracts against Indulgences, founded probably 
on the reasonings of Pupper and Wessel, had been in 
circulation before Luther had nailed his Theses to the door 
of All Saints' church in Wittenberg. Hendrik of Zutphen, 
Prior of the Augustinian Eremite convent at Antwerp, 
had been a pupil of Staupitz, a fellow student with Luther, 
and had spread Evangelical teaching not only among his 
order, but throughout the town.* It need be no matter 

1 Van der Meersch, Reeherches sur la vie et let travaux dee trnprimeun 
belgee et hollandaie, pp. 142-144 ; of. Walther, Die deutaehe BibeltlbeneUunffen 
dee MiUelaUera, p. 652. 

'Aleander, writing to the Cardinftl de' Medici (Sept B^, 1620), 


for surprise, then, that Luther's writings were widely 
circulated in the Netherlands, and that between 1513 and 
1531 no fewer than twenty-five translations of the Bible 
or of the New Testament had appeared in Dutch, Flemish, 
and FrencL 

When Aleander was in the Netherlands, before attend- 
ing the Diet of Worms he secured the burning of eighty 
Lutheran and other books at Louvain ; ^ and when he came 
back ten months later, he had regular literary auto-da-fis. 
On Charles' return from the Diet of Worms, he issued a 
proclamation to all his subjects in the Netherlands against 
Luther, his books and his followers, aud Aleander made 
fuU use of the powers it gave. Four hundred Lutheran 
books were burnt at Antwerp, three hundred of them 
seized by the police in the stalls of the booksellers, and 
one hundred handed over by the owners ; three hundred 
were burnt at Ghent, '' part of them printed here and part 
in Germany," says the Legate ; and he adds that '' many 
of them were very well bound, and one gorgeously in 
velvet." About a month later he is forced to confess 
that these burnings had not made as much impression 
as he had hoped, and that he wishes the Emperor 
would ''bum alive half a dozen Lutherans and con- 
fiscate their property." Such a proceeding would make all 
see him to be the really Christian prince that he \r} 

Next year (1522) Charles established the Inquisition 
witiiin the seventeen province& It was a distinctively 
civil institution, and this was perhaps due to the fact 
that there was little correspondence between the civil 
and ecclesiastical jurisdictions in the Netherlands ; but it 
most not be forgotten that the Kings of Spain had used 
the Holy OfiBce for the purpose of stamping out political 

Attribatas the spread of Lutheranism in the Netherlands to the teaching of 
Erasmiu and of the Prior of the Augustinians at Antwerp. — Brieger, 
AUamder wnd IaiJQut^ 1621; Die vervoUstdndigUn Alea-nder-Depeaehen 
(Ootha, 1834), p. 249. 

1 Kalkoff, DU DepetcKen des nurUius Aleander (Halle a S. 1897), p. 20. 

' Bii^ger, AUander und JAUher ; Die wrwdUtandigten Aleander- 
Depetehen, pp. 249, 252, 262. 


and local opposition, and also that the dvil courts were 
usually more energetic and more severe than the ecclesi- 
astical The man appointed was unworthy of any place 
of important trust. Francis van de Hulst, although he 
had been the Prince's counsellor in Brabant, was a man 
accused both of bigamy and murder, and was hopelessly 
devoid of tact He quarrelled violently with the High 
Court of Holland ; and the Regent, Margaret of Austria, 
who had resumed her functions, found herself constantly 
compromised by his continual defiance of local privileges. 
He was a " wonderful enemy to learning/' says Erasmus. 
His colleague, Nicolas van Egmont, a Carmelite monk, 
is described by the same scholar as "a madman with 
a sword put into his hand who hates me worse than 
he does Luther." The two men discredited the In- 
quisition from its beginning. Erasmus affected to believe 
that the Emperor could not know what they were doing. 

The first victim was Cornelius Graphseus, town clerk 
of Antwerp, a poet and Humanist, a friend of Erasmus ; 
and his offence was that he had published an edition of 
John Pupper of Goch's book, entitled the Liberty of the 
Christian Religion^ with a preface of his own. The 
unfortunate man was set on a scaffold in Brussels, com- 
pelled to retract certain propositions which were said 
to be contained in the preface, and obliged to throw the 
preface itself into a fire kindled on the scaffold for the 
purpose. He was dismissed from his office, declared 
incapable of receiving any other employment, compelled 
to repeat his recantation at Antwerp, imprisoned for two 
years, and finally banished.^ 

The earliest deaths were those of Henry Voes and 
John Esch, who have already been mentioned. Their 
Prior, Hendrik of Zutphen, escaped from the dungeon 
in which he had been confined. Luther commemorated 
them in a long hymn, entitled A New Song of the two 

^ Grsphseus* appeal to the Chancellor of the Court of Brabant U printed 
in full in Bruudt's History qf the B^ormatitm ... to t^ Lew OduiUriei 
(Ix>naou. 1720), 1. 42. 

Martyrs of Christ burnt at Brussels by the Sophists of 

^ Der erst recbt wol Johannes heyst^ 
So reych an Qottes holden 
Seyn Brader Henrch nach dem geyst^ 
Eyn rechter Christ on schulden : 

Vonn dysser welt gescheyden synd. 
Bye hand die kron erworben, 

Recht wie die frumen gottes kind 
Fur seyn wort synd gestorben, 
Sein Marter B}'nd sye worden.*^ 

Charles issued proclamation after proclamation, each 
of increasing severity. It was forbidden to print any 
books unless they had been first examined and approved 
by the censors (April 1st, 1524). ''All open and secret 
meetings in order to read and preach the Gospel, the 
Epistles of St Paul, and other spiritual writings," were 
forbidden (Sept. 25th, 1525), as also to discuss the Holy 
Faith, the Sacraments, the Power of the Pope and 
Councils, ''in private houses and at meals." This was 
repeated on March 14th, 1526, and on July 17th there 
was issued a long edict, said to have been carefully 
drafted by the Emperor himself, forbidding all meetings to 
read or preach about the Gospel or other holy writings in 
Latin, Flemish, or Walloon. In the preamble it is said 
that ignorant persons have begun to expound Scripture, 
that even regular and secular clergy have presumed to 
teach the "errors and sinister doctrines of Luther and 
his adherents," and that heresies are increasing in the land. 
Then followed edicts against unlicensed books, and against 
monks who had left their cloisters (Jan. 28th, 1528); 
against the possession of Lutheran books, commanding 
them upon pain of death to be delivered up (Oct. 14th, 
1529); against printing unlicensed books — the penalties 
being a public whipping on the scaffold, branding with a 
red-iron, or the loss of an eye or a hand, at the discretion 

^ Wsckemagel, Daa deiUsehe Kirchenlied von der dlUsten ZeU lUantM 
df^aihq dei xvii, JahrhwiderU, iii. 8. 


of the judge (Dec. 7th, 1530); against heretics "who 
are more numerous than. ever/' against certain books of 
which a long list is given, and against certain hymns 
which increase the zeal of the heretics (Sept. 22nd, 1540) ; 
against printing and distributmg unlicensed books in the 
Italian, Spanish, or English languages (Dec. 18th, 1544); 
warning all schoolmasters about the use of unlicensed 
books in their schools, and giving a list of those onlj 
which are permitted (July Slst, 1546). The edict of 
1546 was followed by a long list of prohibited books, 
among which are eleven editions of the Vulgate printed 
by Protestant firms, six editions of the Bible and three of 
the New Testament in Dutch, two editions of the Bible 
in French, and many others. Lastly, an edict of April 
29th, 1550, confirmed all the previous edicts against 
heresy and its spread, and intimated that the Inquisitors 
would proceed against heretics "notwithstanding any 
privileges to the contrary, which are abrogated and 
annulled by this edict." This was a clear threat that 
the terrible Spanish Inquisition was to be established in 
the Netherlands, and provoked such remonstrances that the 
edict was modified twice (Sept. 25 th, Nov. 5 th) before it 
was finally accepted as legal within the seventeen provinces. 

All these edicts were directed against the Lutheran 
or kindred teaching. They had nothing to do with the 
Anabaptist movement, which called forth a special and 
different set of edicts. It seems against all evidence to 
say that the persecution of the Lutherans had almost 
ceased during the last years of Charles* rule in the 
Netherlands, and Philip ii. could declare with almost 
perfect truth that his edicts were only his father's re-issued. 

The continuous repetition and increasing severity of 
the edicts revealed not merely that persecution did not 
hinder the spread of the Reformed faith, but that the 
edicts themselves were found diflScult to enforce. What 
Charles would have done had he been able to govern 
the country himself it is impossible to say. He became 
harder and more intolerant of differences in matters of 


doctrine as years went on, and in his latest days is said to 
haye regretted that he had allowed Luther to leave Worms 
aliye ; and he might have dealt with the Protestants of the 
fieventeen provinces as his son afterwards did. His aunt, 
Margaret of Austria, who was Begent till 1530, had no 
desire to drive matters to an extremity; and his sister 
Mary, who ruled from 1530 till the abdication of Charles 
m 1555, was suspected in early life of being a Lutheran 
herself. She never openly joined the Lutheran Church as 
did her sister the Queen of Denmark, but she confessed 
her sympathies to Charles, and gave them as a reason for 
reluctance to undertake the regency of the Netherlands. 
It may therefore be presumed that the severe edicts were 
not enforced with undue stringency by either Margaret of 
Austria or by the widowed Queen of Hungary. There is 
also evidence to show that these proclamations denouncing 
and menacing the unfortunate Protestants of the Netherlands 
were not looked on with much- favour by large sections of 
the population. Officials were dilatory, magistrates were 
known to have warned suspected persons to escape before 
the police came to arrest them ; even to have given them 
facilities for escape after sentence had been delivered. 
Passive resistance on the part of the inferior authorities 
frequently interposed itself between the Emperor and the 
execution of his bloodthirsty proclamations. Yet the 
number of Protestant martyrs was large, and women as 
well as men suffered torture and death rather than deny 
their faith. 

The edicts against conventicles deterred neither 
preachers nor audience. The earliest missioners were 
priests and monks who had become convinced of the errors 
of Bomanism. Later, preachers were trained in the south 
German cities and in Geneva, that nursery of daring agents 
of the Beformed propaganda. But if trained teachers were 
lacking, members of the congregation took their place at the 
peril of their lives. Brandt relates how numbers of people 
were accustomed to meet for service in a shipwright's yard 
at Antwerp to hear a monk who had been '' proclaimed ": 


'* The teacher, by some chance or other, could not appear, 
and one of the company named Nicolas, a person well 
versed in Scripture, thought it a shame that such a 
congregation, hungering after the food of the Word, should 
depart without a little spiritual nourishment; wherefore, 
climbing the mast of a ship, he taught the people according 
to his capacity ; and on that account, and for the sake of 
the reward that was set upon the preacher, he was seized by 
two butchers and delivered to the magistrates, who caused 
him to be put into a sack and thrown into the river, where 
he was drowned."^ 

§ 3. Tfu Anabaptists, 

The severest persecutions, however, before the rule of 
Philip II., were reserved for those people who are called 
the Anabaptists.' We find several edicts directed against 
them solely. In February 1532 it was forbidden to 
harbour Anabaptists, an4 'a price of 12 guilders was 
ofTered to informants. Later in the same year an edict 
was published which declared " that all who had been re- 
baptized, were sorry for their fault, and, in token of their 
repentance, had gone to confession, would be admitted to 
mercy for that time only, provided they brought a certificate 
from their confessor within twenty-four days of the date of 
the edict ; those who continued obdurate were to be treated 
with the utmost rigour of the laws" (Feb. 1533). Ana- 
baptists who had abjured were ordered to remain near their 
dwelling-places for the space of a year, *' imless those who 
were engaged in the herring fishery" (June 1634). In 
1536 the severest edict against the sect was published 

^ Brandt, Hidory qfths Jt^omuUion in the Low CowUries (London, 1720), 
p. 51. 

* The hiatory of the struggle with the Anabaptista of the Netherlands 
is related at length by S. Blaupot ten Gate in Oesehiedenis der DoopffegifMUn 
in FrUtland (Leeu warden, 1839) ; OeschUdenis der Doopgezinden in Oroningen 
(Ober^ssel, 1842) ; Oeschiedenisa der Doopgezinden in Holland en Oelderland 
(Amsterdam, 1847). A summary of the history of the Anabaptists is 
given in Heath's Anahaptiam (London, 1895), which is much more aocuzmte 
than the Qsual accounts. 


All who had ^ seduced or perverted any to this sect, or 
had rebaptized them/' were to suffer death by fire; all 
who had suffered themselves to be rebaptized, or who had 
harboured Anabaptists, and who recanted, were to be 
favoured by being put to death by the sword; women 
were " only to be buried aliva" ^ 

To understand sympathetically that multiform move- 
ment which was called in the sixteenth century AricLbaptismy 
it is necessary to remember that it was not created by the 
Seformation, although it certainly received an impetus 
from the inspiration of the aga Its roots can be traced 
back for some centuries, and its pedigree has at least two 
stems which are essentially distinct, and were only occasion- 
ally combined. The one stem is the successions of the 
Brethren, a mediaeval, anti-clerical body of Christians whose 
history is written only in the records of Inquisitors of the 
mediaeval Church, where they appear under a variety of 
names, but are universally toid to prize the Scriptures 
and to accept the Apostles' Creed.' The other existed 
in the continuous uprisings of the poor — peasants in 
rural districts and the lower classes in the towns — 
against the rich, which were a feature of the later Middle 

So far as the Netherlands are concerned, these popular 
outbreaks had been much more frequent among the towns' 
population than in the rural districts. The city patriciate 
ordinarily controlled the magistracy; but when flagrant 
cases of oppression arose, all the judicial, financial, and 
other functions of government were sure to be swept out 
of their hands in an outburst of popular fury. So much 
was this the case, that the real holders of power in the 
towns in the Netherlands during the first half of the 
sixteenth century were the artisans, strong in their trade 
organisations. They had long known their power, and had 
been accustomed to exert it. The blood of a turbulent 

^ Cf. Letter* and Papere, Foreign a/nd Domeatie, of the lUign of ffeiiry 
VIII., IV. iii. 2686 {ffalket to TuUer). 

s 01 Mow, pp. 482/. * Cf. i. 96/. 


aDcestry ran in their veinfi — of men who could endure for 
a time, but who, when roused by serious oppression, had 
been accustomed to defend themselves, and to give stroke 
for stroke. It is only natural to find among the artisans 
of the Flemish and Dutch towns a curious mingling of 
sublime self-sacrifice for what they believed to be the 
truth, of the mystical exaltation of the martyr occasion- 
ally breaking out in hysterical action, and the habit of 
defending themselves against almost any odds. 

So far as is known, the earliest Anabaptist martyrs 
were Jan Walen and two others belonging to Waterlandt. 
They were done to death in a peculiarly atrocious way at 
The Hague in 1527. Instead of being burnt alive, they 
were chained to a stake at some distance from a huge fire, 
and were slowly roasted to death. This frightful punish- 
ment seems to have been reserved for the Anabaptist 
martyrs. It was repeated at Haarlem in 1532, when a 
woman was drowned and her husband with two others 
was roasted alive. Some time in 1530, Jan Volkertz 
founded an Anabaptist congregation in Amsterdam which 
became so large as to attract the attention of the 
authorities The head of the police (schovi) in the city was 
ordered to apprehend them. Volkertz delivered himself 
up voluntarily. The greater part of the accused received 
timely warning from the schoufs wife. Nine were taken 
by night in their bed& These with their pastor were 
carried to The Hague and beheaded by express order of 
the Emperor. He also commanded that their heads 
should be sent to Amsterdam, where, they were set on 
poles in a circle, the head of Volkertz being in the centre 
This ghastly spectacle was so placed that it could be seen 
from the ships entering and leaving the harbour. All 
these martyrs, and many others whose deaths are duly 
recorded, were followers of Melchior Hoffman. Hoffman's 
views were those of the " Brethren " of the later Middle 
Ages, the Old Evangelicals as they were called. In a 
paper of directions sent to Emden to assist in the 
organisation of an Anabaptist congr^tion there, he says : 


"God's community knows no head but Christ. No 
other can be endured, for it is a brother- and sisterhood. 
The teachers have none who rule them spiritually but 
Christ. Teachers and ministers are not lord& The pastors 
have no authority except to preach God's Word and punish 
Bins. A bishop must be elected out of his community. 
Where a pastor has thus been taken, and the guidance 
committed to him and to his deacon, a community should 
provide properly for those who help to build the Lord's 
house. When teachers are thus found, there is no fear 
that the communities will suffer spiritual hunger. A true 
prea^^her would willingly see the whole community prophesy." 

But the persecution, with its peculiar atrocities, had 
been acting in its usual way on the Anabaptists of the 
Netherlands. They had been tortured on the rack, scourged, 
imprisoned in dungeons, roasted to death before slow fires, 
and had seen their women drowned, buried alive, pressed into 
coffins too small for their bodies till their ribs were broken, 
others stamped into them by the feet of the executioners. 
It is to be wondered at that those who stood firm sometimes 
gave way to hysterical excesses; that their leaders began 
to preach another creed than that of passive resistance; 
that wild apocalyptic visions were reported aud believed ? 

Melchior Hoffman had been imprisoned in Strassburg 
in 1533, and a new leader arose in the Netherlands — Jan 
Matthys, a baker of Haarlem. Under his guidance an 
energetic propaganda was carried on in the Dutch towns, 
and hundreds of converts were made. One hundred persons 
were baptized in one day in February (1534); before the 
end of March it was reported that two-thirds of the popu- 
lation in Monnikendam were Anabaptists ; and a similar 
state of matters existed in many of the larger Dutch 
towns. Daventer, Zwolle, and Kampen were almost wholly 
Anabaptist. The Government made great exertions to 
crush the movement. Detachments of soldiers were 
divided into bands of fifteen or twenty, and patrolled the 
environs of the cities, making midnight visitations, and 
haling men and women to prison until the dungeons were 
overcrowded with captured Anabaptists. 


Attempts were made by the persecuted to leave the 
country for some more hospitable place where they could 
worship God in peace in the way their consciences directed 
theuL East Friesland had once been a haven,, bui was so no 
longer. Miinster offered a refuge. Ships were chartered, 
— ^thirty of them, — and the persecuted people proposed to 
sail round the north of Friesland, land at the mouth of the 
Ems, and travel to Mtinster by land.^ The Emperor's ships 
inteixsepted the little fleet, scuik five of the vessels with all 
the emigrants on board, and compelled the rest to return. 
The leaders found on board were decapitated, and their 
heads stuck on poles to warn others. Hundreds from 
the provinces of Guelderland and Holland attempted 
the journey by land. They piled their bits of poor furni- 
ture aud bundles of clothes on waggons ; some rode horses, 
most trudged on foot, the women and children, let us hope, 
getting an occasional ride on the waggons. Soldiers were 
sent to intercept them. The leaders were beheaded, the 
men mostly imprisoned, and the women and children sent 
back to their towns and villages. 

Then, and not till they had exhausted every method of 
passive resistance, the Anabaptists begem to strike back. 
They wished to seize a town already containing a large 
Anabaptist population, and hold it as a city of refuge. 
Daventer, which was full of sympathisers, was their first 
aim. The plot failed, and the burgomaster's son Willem, 
one of the conspirators, was seized, and with two com- 
panions beheaded in the market-place (Dec. 25th, 1634). 
Their next attempt was on Leyden. It was called a plot 

^ Seyeral references to the Anabaptists of the Low Countries are to be 
found in the Letters and PaperSy Foreign and Domedie, of the Beign of Henry 
VIII. Hackett, writing to Oromwell, says that "divers places are affected 
by this new sect of * rebaptisement,' " vii. p. 136. He teUs about the ship- 
loads of emigrants (pp. 166, 166), and says that they were m sympathise 
with, that it was difficult to enlist soldiers to fight against them ; that the 
Regent had sent 10,000 ducats to help the Bishop of Mttnster ro crush 
them (p. 167) ; and a wild report was current that Henry yiii. bad sent 
money to the Anabaptists of Mtinster in revenge for the Pope's refusing hia 
divorce (p. 186). 


to born the town. The magistrates got word of it, and, by 
ordering the great town-clock to be stopped, disconcertetl 
the plotters. Fifteen men and five women were seized ; 
the men were decapitated, and the women drowned (Jan. 
1535). Next month (Feb. 28th, 1535), Jan vanGeelen, 
leading a band of three hundred refugees through Friesland, 
was overtaken by some troops of soldiers. The little 
company entrenched themselves, fought bravely for some 
days, until nearly all were killed. Ihe survivors were 
almost all captured aiid put to death, the men by the 
Bword, and the women by drowning. One hundred soldiers 
fell in the attack. A few months later (May 1535), an 
attempt was made to seize Amsterdam. It was headed by 
van Greelen, the only survivor of the skirmish in Friesland. 
He and his companions were able to get possession of the 
Stadthaus, and held it against the town's forces until cannon 
were brought to batter down their defences. 

In the early days of the same year an incident occurred 
which shows how, under the strain of persecution, an hysteri- 
cal exaltation took possession of some of these poor people. 
It is variously reported. According to Brandt, seven men 
and five women having stript off their clothes, as a sigu, 
they said, that they spoke the naked truth, ran through 
the streets of Amsterdam, crying Woe I Woe ! Woe ! The 
Wrath of God ! They were apprehended, and slaughtered 
in the usual way. The woman in whose house they had 
met was hanged at her own door. 

The insurrections were made the pretext for still fiercer 
persecutions. The Anabaptists were hunted out, tortured 
and slain without any attempt being made by the authori- 
ties to discriminate between those who had and those 
who had not been sharers in any insurrectionary attempt. 
It is allied that over thirty thousand people were put to 
death in the Netherlands during the reign of Charles v. 
Many of the victims had no connection with Anabaptism 
whatsoever; they were quiet followers of Luther or of 
Calvin. The authorities discriminated between them iir 
their proclamations, but not in the persecution. 


§ 4. Philip of Spain and the Netherla'nds. 

How long the NetherlandB would have stood the oon- 
tinual drain of money and the severity of the persecution 
which the foreign and religious policy of Charles enforced 
upon them, it is impossible to say. The people of the 
country were strongly attached to him, as he was to them. 
He had been bom and had grown from childhood to manhood 
among them. Their languages, French and Flemish, were 
the only speech he could ever use with ease. He had been 
ruler in the Netherlands before he became King of Spain, 
and long before he was called to fill the imperial throne. 
When he resolved to act on his long meditated scheme of 
abdicating in favour of his son Philip, it was to the Nether- 
lands that he came. Their nobles and people witnessed 
the scene with hardly less emotion than that which showed 
itself in the faltering speech of the Emperor. 

The ceremony took place in the great Hall of the palace 
in Brussels (Oct. 25th, 1555), in presence of the delegates 
of the seventeen provinces. Mary, the widowed Queen of 
Hungary, who had governed the land for twenty-five years, 
witnessed the scene which was to end her rule. Philip, 
who was to ruin the work of consolidation patiently planned 
and executed by his father and his aunt, was present, sum- 
moned from his uncongenial task of eating roast beef and 
drinking English ale in order to conciliate his new subjects 
across the Channel, and from the embarrassing endearments 
of his elderly spouse. The Emperor, aged by toil rather 
than by years, entered the Hall leaning heavily on his 
favourite page and trusty counsellor, the youthful William, 
Prince of Orange, who was to become the leader of the 
revolt against Philip's rule, and to create a new Protestant 
State, the United Provinces. 

The new lord of the Netherlands was then twenty- 
eight. In outward appearance he was a German like his 
father, but in speech he was a Spaniard. He had none of 
his father's external geniality, and could never stoop to win 
men to his ends. But Philip n. was much liker Charles v. 


than many historians seem willing to admit. Both had 
the same slow, patient industry — but in the son it was 
slower ; the same cynical distrust of all men ; the same 
belief in the divine selection of the head of the House of 
Hapeburg to guide all things in State and Church irrespective 
of Popes or Eings--only in the son it amounted to a sort 
of gloomy mystical assurance; the same callousness to 
human suffering, and the same utter inability to comprehend 
the force of strong religious conviction. PhUip was an 
inferior edition of his father, succeeding to his father's 
ideas, pursuing the same policy, using the same methods, 
but handicapped by the fact that he had not originated but 
had inherited both, and with them the troubles brought 
in their train. 

Philip n. spent the first four years of his reign in the 
Netherlands, and during that shoi*t period of personal rule 
his policy had brought into being all the more important 
sources of dissatisfaction which ended in the revolt. Yet 
his policy was the same, and his methods were not different 
from those of his father. In one respect at least Charles 
had never spared the Netherlands. That country had to 
pay, as no other part of his vast possessions was asked to 
do, the price of his foreign policy, and Charles had wrung 
unexampled sums from his people. 

When Philip summoned the States General (March 
12th, 1556) and asked them for a very large grant (Fl. 
1,300,000), he was only following his father's example, 
and on that occasion was seeking money to liquidate the 
deficit which his father had bequeathed. Was it that the 
people of the Netherlands had resolved to end the practice 
of making them pay for a foreign policy which had hitherto 
concerned them little, or was it because they could not 
endure the young Spaniard who could not speak to them 
iu their own language ? Would Charles have been refused 
as well as Philip ? Who can say ? 

When Philip obtained a Bull from Pope Paul TV, for 
creating a territorial episcopate in the Netherlands, he was 
only carrying out the policy which his father had sketched 


as early as 1522, and which but for the shortness of the 
pontificate of Hadrian Yi. would undoubtedly have been 
executed in 1524 without any popular opposition. Charles' 
scheme contemplated six bishoprics, Philip's fourteen ; that 
was the sole difierence ; cuid from the ecclesiastical point of 
view Philip's was probably the better. Why then the bitter 
opposition to the change in 1557 ? Most historians seem 
to think that had Charles been ruling, there would have 
been few murmurs. Is that so certain? The people 
feared the institution of the bishoprics, because they 
dreaded and hated *an Inquisition which would override 
their local laws, rights, and privileges ; and Charles had 
been obliged to modify his "Placard" of 1549 against 
heresy, because towns and districts protested so loudly 
against it. During these early years Philip made no 
alterations on his father's proclamations against heresy. 
He contented himself with reissuing the "Placard" of 
1649 as that had been amended in 1550 after the popular 
protests. The personality of Philip was no doubt objection- 
able to his subjects in the Netherlands, but it cannot be 
certainly afSrmed that had Charles continued to reign there 
would have been no widespread revolt against his financial, 
ecclesiastical, and religious policy. The Regent Mary had 
been finding her task of ruling more and more difficult. A 
few weeks before the abdication, when the Emperor wished 
his sister to continue in the Begency, she wrote to him : 

" I could not live among these people even as a private 
citizen, for it would be impossible to do my duty towards 
God and my Prince. As to governing them, I take God to 
witness that the task is so abhorrent to me that I would 
rather earn my daily bread by labour than attempt it." 

In 1559 (Aug. 26th), Philip left the Netherlands never 
to return. He had selected Margaret of Parma, his half- 
sister, the illegitimate daughter of Charles v., for Regent. 
Margaret had been born and brought up in the country ; 
she knew the language, and she had been so long away from 
her native land that she was not personally committed to 


any policy nor acquainted with the leaders of any of the 

The power of the B^nt, nominally extensive, was in 
reality limited by secret instructions.^ She was ordered to 
put in execution the edicts against heresy without any 
modification ; and she was directed to submit to the advice 
given her by three Councils, a command which placed her 
under the supervision of the three men selected by Philip to 
be the presidents of these Councils. The Council of State 
was the most important, and was entrusted with the 
management of the whole foreign and home administration 
of the country. It consisted of the Bishop of Arras 
(Antoine Perronet de Granvelle, afterwards Cardinal de 
Granvelle) ; * the Baron de Barlaymont, who was President 
of the Council of Finance ; Vigilius van Ay tta, a learned 
lawyer from Friesland, ''a small brisk man, with loug 
yellow hair, glittering green eyes, fat round rosy cheeks, 
and flowing beard," who was President of the Privy Council, 
and controlled the administration of law and justice ; and 
two of the Netherland nobles, Lamoral, Count of Egmont 
and Prince of Gravre, and William, Prince of Orange. 
The two nobles were seldom consulted or even invited to 
be present The three Presidents were the ConsuUa, or 
secret body of confidential advisers imposed by Philip upon 
his Begent, without whose advice nothing was to be 
attempted. Of the three, the Bishop of Arras (Cardinal de 

^ The Koyal Academy oC Belgium has published (Brussels, 1877-96) 
the Correspondanee du Cardinal de Oranvelle in 12 volumes, and in the 
CoUeclion de documents vntdits eur VEistoire de France th(*re are the Papiers 
dttatdu Cardinal de Oranvelle in 9 vols., edited by G. Weiss (Paris, 1841- 
62). These yolumesTeyeal the inner history of the revolt in the Netherlands. 
The documents which refer to the revolt in the Papiers d £tai begin with 
p. 588 of ToL V. They show how, from the very first, Philip ii. urged the 
extirpation of heresy as the most important work to be undertaken by his 
Government ; cf. Papiers d^tat, v. 591. 

* ** Philip struck the keynote of his reign on the occasion of his first 
public appearance as King by presiding pver one of the most splendid a^Uo- 
da-fis that had ever been seen in Spain (Valladolid, Oct. 18th, 1559)." 
Cambridffs Modem History, iii. 482. It is a singular commentary on six- 
teenth century Romanism, th«t to bum a large number of fellow-men wai 
called « an act of faith." 



Granvelle) was the most important, and the government 
was practically placed in his hands by his master. Behind 
the Consvlta was Philip n. himself, who in his business 
room in the Escurial at Madrid issued his orders, repressing 
every tendency to treat the people with moderation and 
humanity, thrusting aside all suggestions of wise tolerance, 
and insisting that his own cold-blooded policy should be 
carried out in its most objectionable details. It was not 
until the publication of de Granvelle's State Papers and 
Correspondence that it came to be known how much the 
Bishop of Arras has been misjudged by history, how he 
remonstrated unavailingly with his master, how he was 
forced to put into execution a sanguinary policy of repres- 
sion which was repugnant to himself, and how Philip 
compelled him to bear the obloquy of his own misdeeds. 
The correspondence also reveals the curiously minute 
infonnation which Philip must have privately received, for 
he was able to send to the Begent and the Bishop the 
names, ages, personal appearance, occupations, residence of 
numbers of obscure people whom he ordered to execution 
for their religious opinion&^ No rigour of persecution 
seemed able to prevent the spread of the Beformation.* 

The Government — Margaret and her ConmUa — offended 
grievously not merely the people, but the nobility of the 
Netherlands. The nobles saw their services and positions 
treated as things of no consequence, and the people 
witnessed with alarm that the local charters and privileges 
of the land — charters and rights which Philip at his 
coronation had sworn to maintain — were totally disregjirded. 
Gradually all classes of the population were united in a 
silent opposition. The Prince of Ort»nge and Count 
Egmont became almost insensibly the leaders. 

They had been dissatisfied with their position on the 
Council of State ; they had no real share in the business ; 
the correspondence was not submitted to them, and they 

^ Fapiers dCtUU du Cardinal de OranveUe, y. pp. 558, 591. 
* Gachard, Oorregpondanee de Ouillaume U Taeilume (Letters from the 
Regent to Phuip ll.), L 882-36. 


knew such details only as Granvelle chose to communicate 
to them. Their first overt act was to resign the commis- 
BiODS they held in the Spanish troops stationed in the 
country ; their second, to write to the King asking him to 
relieve them of their position on the Council of State, 
telling him that matters of great importance were con- 
tinually transacted without their knowledge or concurrence, 
and that in the circumstances they could not conscientiously 
continue to sustain the responsibilities of office.^ 

The opposition took their stand on three things, all of 
which hung together — the presence of Spanish troops on 
the soil of the Netherlands, the cruelties perpetrated in 
the execution of the Placards against heresy, and the insti- 
tution of the new bishoprics in accordance with the Bull 
of Pope Paul IV., reaffirmed by Pius iv. in 1560 (Jan.). 
The conmion fighting ground for the opposition to all the 
thiee was the invasion of the charters and privileges 
of the various provinces which these measures necessarily 
involved, and the consequent violation of the King's coro- 
nation oath. 

Philip had solemnly promised to withdraw the Spanish 
troops within three or four months after he left the 
country. They had remained for fourteen, and the whole 
land cried out against the pillage and rapine which accom- 
panied their presence. The people of Zeeland declared 
that they would rather see the ocean submerge their 
country — that they would rather perish, men, women, and 
children, in the waves — than endure longer the outrages 
which these mercenaries inflicted upon them. They re- 
fused to repair the Dykea The presence of these troops 
had been early seen to be a degradation to his country by 
William of Orange.^ At the States General held on the 
eve of Philip's departure, he had ui^ed the Assembly to 

^ Gaohaid, Oorretpondance de CfuUlaume le TcieUume, etc. ii. 42/., 106* 
110, 170. 

' He wrote to Philip aboat their excesses as early as Dec. 29th, 1656, 
Gaehard, Corretpondanee de Ouillaume le Taciturne, % 282, and about the 
exasperation of the Netherlanders in consequence {ibid. i. 291). 


make the departure of the troops a condition of gi-anting 
subsidies, and had roused Philip's wrath in consequence. 
He now voiced the crj of the whole country. It was so 
strong that Granvelle sent many an urgent request to the 
King to sanction their removal ; and at length he and the 
Begent, without waiting for orders, had the troops embarked 
for Madrid. 

The rigorous repression of heresy compelled the 
(Government to override the charters of the several pro- 
vincea Many of these charters contained very strong 
provisions, and the King had sworn to maintain them. 
The constitution of Brabant, known as the joyevM erUr^e 
{blyde inkomst), provided that the clergy should not be 
given unusual powers; and that no subject, nor even a 
foreign resident, could be prosecuted civilly or criminally 
except in the ordinary courts of the land, where he could 
answer and defend himself with the help of advocatea 
The charter of Holland contained similar provisions. Both 
charters declared that if the Prince transgressed these 
provisions the subjects were freed from their allegiance. 
The inquisitorial courts violated the charters of those and 
of the other provinces. The great objection taken to the 
increase of the episcopate, according to the provisions of 
the Bulls of Paul IV. and of Pius iv., was that it involved 
a still greater infringement of the chartered rights of the 
land. For example, the Bulls provided that the bishops 
were to appoint nine canons, who were to assist them in 
all inquisitorial cases, while at least one of them was to 
be an Inquisitor charged with ferreting out and punishing 
heresy. This was apparently their great charm for Philip 
u. He desired an instrument to extirpate heretics. He 
knew that the Seformation was making great progress in 
the Netherlands, especially in the great commercial cities. 
" I would lose all my States and a hundred lives if I had 
them," he wrote to the Pope, ** rather than be the lord of 

The opposition at first contented itself with protesting 
against the position and rule of Granvelle, and with de* 


manding his recall. Philip came to the reluctant con- 
clusidn to dismiBS his Minister, and did so with more than 
his usual duplicity. The nobles returned to the Council, 
and the Begent affected to take their advice. But they 
were soon to discover that the recall of the obnoxious 
Minister did not make any change in the policy of Philip. 
The Begent read them a letter from Philip ordering 
the publication and enforcement of the Decrees of the 
Council of Trent in the Netherland&^ The nobles protested 
vehemently on the ground that this would mean a still 
farther invasion of the privileges of the provinces. After 
long deliberation, it was resolved to send Count Egmont to 
Madrid to lay the opinions of the Council before the King. 
The debate was renewed on the instructions to be given to 
the delegate. Those suggested by the President, Vigilius, 
were colourless. Then William the Silent spoke out. His 
speech, a long one, full of suppressed passionate sympathy 
with his persecuted fellow-countrymen, made an extra- 
ordinary impression. It is thus summarised by Brandt : 

That they ought to speak their minds freely ; that there 
were such commotions and revolutions on account of religion 
in all the neighbouring countries, that it was impossible to 
maintain the present regime, and think to suppress disturb- 
ances by means of Placards, Inquisitions, and Bishops ; that 
the King was mistaken if he proposed to maintain the 
Decrees of the Council of Trent in these Provinces which 
lay 80 near Germany, where all the Princes, Boman Catholics 
as well as Protestants, have justly rejected them; that it 
would be better that His Majesty should tolerate these 
things as other Princes were obliged to do, and annul or else 
moderate the punishments proclaimed in the Placards ; that 
though he himself had resolved to adhere to the Catholic 
religion, yet he could not approve that Princes should aiin 
at dominion over the souls of men, or deprive them of the 
freedom of their faith and religion.* 

> In a letter to the Begent (March 16th, 1666), WUliam declared that the 
beads of the policy of Philip which he most strongly disapproyed of were : 
r^ntreUnmnetU du concUs de TrerUe, fawfrimr lea inquisiUurs ou leur a/Ui 
0t ewSewter $am$ nulls dimmvZaiion Us placars, C&rresporukmee, eto. ii 129. 

* Brandt, Th$ Hidory nfths Be/ormeUion, etc i. 150. 


The instructions given to Egmont were accordingly 
both full and plain-spoken. 

Count Egmont departed leisurely to Madrid, was well 
received bj Philip, and left thoroughly deceived, perhaps 
self-deceived, about the King's intentiona He had a rude 
awakening when the sealed letter he bore was opened and 
read in the Council. It announced no real change in 
policy, and in the matter of heresy showed that the King's 
resolve was unaltered A despatch to the Begent (Nov. 
5th, 1565) was still more unbending. Philip would not 
enlarge the powers of the Council in the Netherlands ; he 
peremptorily refused to summon the States General ; and 
he ordered the immediate publication and enforcement of 
the Decrees of the Council of Trent in every town and 
village in the seventeen provinces. True to the policy of 
his house, the Decrees of Trent were to be proclaimed ia 
his name, not in that of the Pope. It was the beginning 
of the tragedy, as William of Orange remarked. 

The efTect of the order was immediate and alarming. 
The Courts of Holland and Brabant maintained that the 
Decrees infringed their charters, and refused to permit 
their publication. Stadtholders and magistrates declared 
that they would rather resign office than execute decrees 
which would compel them to burn over sixty thousand 
of their fellow-countrymen. Trade ceased ; industries died 
out ; a blight fell on the land. Pamphlets full of passion* 
ate appeals to the people to put an end to the tyranny 
were distributed and eagerly read. In one of them, which 
took the form of a letter to the King, it was said : 

" We are ready to die for the Gospel, but we read there- 
in, ' Bender unto Csesar the things which are Caesar's, and 
unto God the things that are God's.' We thank God that 
even our enemies are constrained to bear witness to our 
piety and innocence, for it is a common saying : ' He does 
not swear, for he is a Protestant He is not an immoral 
man, nor a drunkard, for he belongs to the new sect ' ; yet 
we are subjected to every kind of punishment that can be 
invented to torment us."^ 

1 Brandt, TJk History of the JU/mnation, etc. L 160. 



The year 1566 saw the origin of a new confederated 
opposition to Philip's mode of ruling the Netherlands. 
Francis Du Jon, a young Frenchman of noble birth, belong- 
ing to Bourges, had studied for the ministry at Geneva, 
and had been sent as a missioner to the Netherlands, where 
his learning and eloquence had made a deep impression on 
young men of the upper classes. His life was in constant 
peril, and he was compelled to flit secretly from the house 
of one sympathiser to that of another. During the 
festivities which accompanied the marriage of the young 
Alexander of Parma with Maria of Portugal, he was con- 
cealed in the house of the Count of Culemburg in Brussels. 
On the day of the wedding he preached and prayed with a 
small company of young nobles, twenty in all. There and 
at other meetings held afterwards it was resolved to form 
a confederacy of nobles, all of whom agreed to bind them- 
selves to support principles laid down in a carefully drafted 
manifesto which went by the name of the CoTfipromise, It 
was mainly directed against the Inquisition, which it calls 
a tribunal opposed to all laws, divine and human. Copies 
passed from hand to hand soon obtained over two thousand 
signatures among the lower nobility and landed gentry. 
Many substantial burghers also signed. The leading spirits 
in the confederacy were Louis of Nassau, the younger 
brother of the Prince of Orange, then a Lutheran ; Philip 
de Mamix, lord of Sainte Aldegonde, a Calvinist; and 
Henry Viscount Brederode, a Boman Catholic. The con- 
federates declared that they were loyal subjects ; but 
pledged themselves to protect each other if any of them 
were attacked. 

The confederates met privately at Breda and Hoogs- 
traeten (March 1566), and resolved to present a petition 
to the B^ent asking that the King should be recommended 
to abolish the Placards and the Inquisition, and that 
the Begent should suspend their operation until the 
King's wishes were known ; also that the States General 
should be assembled to consider other ordinances dangerous 
to the country. The Begent had called an assembly of the 


Notables for March 28th, and it was resolved to present 
the petition then. The confederation and its Compromise 
were rather dreaded by the great nobles who had been the 
leaders of the constitutional opposition, and there was some 
debate about the presentation of the Request. The Baron 
de Barlaymont went so far as to recommend a massacre of 
the petitioners in the audience hall; but wiser counsels 
prevailed. The confederates met and marshalled them- 
selves, — two hundred young nobles, — and marched through 
the streets to the Palace, amid the acclamations of the 
populace, to present the Request} The Begent was some- 
what dismayed by the imposing demonstration, but 
Barlaymont rectssured her with the famous words: 
" Madame, is your Highness afraid of these beggars (pes 
gueux) ? " The deputation was dismissed with fair words, 
and the promise that although the B^ent had no power 
to suspend the Placards or the Inquisition, there would be 
some moderation used until the King's pleasure was known. 
Before leaving Brussels, three hundred of the confeder- 
ates met in the house of the Count of Gulemburg to 
celebrate their league at a banquet The Viscount de 
Brederode presided, and during the feast he recalled to 
their memories the words of Barlaymont : '* They call ua 
beggars," he said ; " we accept the name. We pledge our- 
selves to resist the Inquisition, and keep true to the King 
and the beggar's wallet." He then produced the leathern 
sack of the wandering beggars, strapped it round his shoulder, 
and drank prosperity to the cause from a beggar's woodea 
bowl. The name and the emblem were adopted with 
enthusiasm, and spread far beyond the circle of the con- 
federacy.* Everywhere burghers, lawyers, peasants as well 
as nobles appeared wearing the beggar's saxjk. Medals, 

^ Gachard, Comspfmdanee de Cfuillaume U Tae/Uwrne^ ii. 484^. 
' At meals they sang : 

*' Pwr ce pain, par ee gel, et par eette beeaee, 
Jamais lee Oueux ne ehanfferofU pour ehoee que Vonfasae.** 

William of Orange wrote to the Begent that he was met in Antwerp bj 
crowds, shouting Vifoe lee Oueux (Correapondanee, IL 186, etc). 


made first of wax set in a wooden cup, then of gold and 
silver, were adopted by the confederated nobles. On the 
one side was the effigies of the King, and on the obverse 
two hands clasped and the beggar's sack with the motto, 
FidMes au Boi jtisques it porter la hesace (beggar's sack). 

All these things were faithfully reported by the 
Begent to Philip, and she besought him either to permit 
her to moderate the Placards and the Inquisition, or to 
come to the Netherlands himself. He answered, promising 
to come, and permitted her some discretion in the matter 
of repression of heresy. 

Meanwhile the people were greatly encouraged by the 
success, or appearance of success, attending the efforts of 
the confederates. Befugees returned from France, Germany, 
and Switzerland. Missioners of the Reformed faith came 
in great numbers. Field-preachings were held all over 
the country. The men came armed, planted sentinels, 
placed their women and children within the square, and thus 
listened to the services conducted by the excommunicated 
minister& They heard the Scriptures read and prayers 
poured forth in their own tongua They sang hymns and 
psalms in French, Flemish, and Dutch. The crowds were 
so large, the sentinels so wary, the men so well armed, that 
the soldiers dared not attempt to disperse them. At first 
the meetings were held at night in woods and desolate 
places, but immunity created boldness. 

"On July 23rd (1566) the Eeformed rendezvoused in 
great numbers in a large meadow not far from Ghent. 
There they formed a sort of camp, fortifying themselves 
with their waggons, and setting sentinels at all the roads. 
Some brought pikes, some hatchets, and others guns. In 
front of them were pedlars with prohibited books, which 
they sold to such as came. They planted several along the 
road whose business it was to invite people to come to the 
preaching and to show them the way. They uiade a kind 
of pulpit of planks, and set it upon a waggon, from which 
the minister preached. When the sermon was ended, all 
the congregation sang several psalms. They also drew 
water out of a well or brook near them, and a child was 


baptized. Two days were spent there, and then they 
adjourned to Deinsen, then to Ekelo near Bruges, and so 
through all West Flanders." ^ 

Growing bolder still, the Reformed met in the environs and 
suburbs of the great towns. Bands of men marched 
through the streets singing Psalms, either the French 
versions of Clement Marot or B^ze or the Dutch one of 
Peter Dathenus. It was in vain that the Begent issued a 
new Placard against the preachers and the conventicles. 
It remained a dead letter. In Antwerp, bands of the 
Reformed, armed, crowded to the preachings in defiance of 
the magistrates, who were afraid of fighting in the streets. 
In the emergency the B^ent appealed to William of 
Orange, and he with difficulty appeased the tumults and 
arranged a compromisa The Calvinists agreed to disarm 
on the condition that they were allowed the free exercise of 
their worship in the suburbs although not within the towns.^ 

The confederates were so encouraged with their 
successes that they thought of attempting more. A great 
conference was held at St. Trond in the principality of 
Li6ge (July 1566), attended by nearly two thousand 
members. The leader was Louis of NassaiL They 
resolved on another deputation to the Begent, and twelve 
of their number were selected to present their demands. 
These ** Twelve Apostles," as the courtiers contemptuously 
termed them, declared that the persecution had not been 
mitigated as promised, and not obscurely threatened that if 
some remedy were not found they might be forced to invoke 
foreign assistance The thi*eat enraged the Begent; but 
she was helpless; she could only urge that she had 
already made representations to the King, and had sent 
two members of Council to inform the King about the 
condition of the country. 

It seemed as if some impression had been made on 
Philip. The Begent received a despatch (July Slst, 1566) 

^Bnudt'sBidaryofthe JU/ormation . . . in the Low Oauntrtea (London, 
1720), i. 172. 

* Gacliard, Corretpondanee de OuHlaume le Tacitume, iL 186/1 


saying that he was prepared to withdraw the papal 
Inquisition from the Netherlands, and that he would grant 
what toleration was consistent with the maintenance of the 
CSatholic religion ; only he would in no way consent to a 
gammoning of the States General. 

There was great triumphing in the Netherlands at this 
newa Perhaps every one but the Prince of Orange was 
more or less deceived by Philip's duplicity. It is only since 
the archives of Simancas have yielded their secrets that its 
depth has been known. They reveal that on Aug. 9th he 
executed a deed in which he declared that the proiliise of 
pardon had been won from him by force, and that he did not 
mean to keep it, and that on Aug. 1 2 th he wrote to the Pope 
that his declaration to withdraw the Inquisition was a mere 
blind. William only knew that the King was levying troops, 
and that he was blaming the great nobles of the Nether- 
lands for the check inflicted upon him by the confederates. 

Long before Philip's real intentions were unmasked, a 
series of iconoclastic attacks not only gave the King the 
pretext he needed, but did more harm to the cause of the 
Beformation in the Low Countries than all the persecutions 
nnder Charles v. and his son. The origin of these tumul- 
tuous proceedings is obscure. According to Brandt, who 
collects information from all sides : 

" Some few of the vilest of the mob . . . were those who 
began the dance, being hallooed on by nobody knows whom. 
Their arms were staves, hatchets, hammers, ladders, ropes, 
and other tools more proper to demolish than to fight with ; 
some few were provided with guns and swords. At first 
ti\ej attacked the crosses and the images that had been 
erected on the great roads in the country ; next, those in 
the villages ; and, lastly, those in the towns and citif'S. All 
the chapels, churches, and convents which they found shut 
they forced open, breaking, tearing, and destroying all the 
images, pictures, shrines and other consecrated things they 
met with ; nay, some did not scruple to lay their hands upon 
libraries, books, writings, monuments, and even on the dead 
bodies in churches and churchyards." ^ 

1 Brandt, History of the RtfomuUion, etc. i. 19L 


According to almost all accounts, the epidemic^ for the 
madness resembled a disease, first appeared at St. Omer's 
(Aug. 14th, 1566), then at Ypres, and extended rapidly 
to other towns. It came to a height at Antwerp (16th 
and 17th Aug. 1566), when the mob sacked the great 
cathedral and destroyed some of its richest treasures.^ An 
eye-witness declared that the rioters in the cathedral did 
not number more than one hundred men, women, and boys, 
drawn from the dregs of the population, and that the 
attacks on the other churches were made by small parties 
of ten or twelve persons. 

These outrages had a disastrous efiTect on the Reforma- 
tion movement in the Netherlands, both immediately and 
in the futura They at once exasperated the more liberal- 
minded Soman Catholics and enraged the Regent: they 
began that gradual cleavage which ended in the separation 
of the Protestant North from the Romanist South. The 
Regent felt herself justified in practically withdrawing all 
the privileges she had accorded to the Reformed, and in 
raising German and Walloon troops to overawe the Pro- 
testants. The presence of these troops irritated some of 
the Calvinist nobles, and John de Marnix, elder brother of 
Sainte Aldegonde, attempted to seize the Island of 
Walcheren in order to hold it as a city of refuge for his 
persecuted brethren. He was unsuccessful; a fight took 
place not far from Antwerp itself, in which de Marnix was 
routed and slain (March 13th, 1567). 

§ 5. William of OraTige. 

Meanwhile William of Orange had come to the conclusion 
that Philip was meditating the suppression of the rights and 
liberties of the Low Countries by Spanish troops, and was 
convinced that the great nobles who had hitherto headed 
the constitutional opposition would be the first to be 
attacked. He had conferences with Egmont and Hoom at 

^ For this and earlier disturbances at Antwerp, of. Corre^fondance ds 
Philip II., etc. i. 821, 827, 879. 


Dendennonde (Oct. 3rd, 1566), and at Willebroek (April 
2nd, 1667), and endeavoured to persuade them that the 
only course open to them was to resist by force of arms. 
His arguments were unavailing, and William sadly deter- 
mined that he must leave the country and retire to his 
German estates. 

His forebodings were only too correct. Philip had re- 
solved to send the Duke of Alva to subdue the Netherlands. 
A force of nine thousand veteran Spanish infantry with 
thirteen hundred Italian cavalry had been collected from 
the garrisons of Lombardy and Naples, and Alva began a 
long, difficult march over the Mt. Cenis and through 
Franche Comt^, Lorraine, and Luxemburg. William had 
escaped just in time. When the Duke arrived in Brussels 
and presented his credentials to the Council of State, it 
was seen that the King had bestowed on him such 
extensive powers that Margaret remained Eegent in name 
only. One of his earliest acts was to get possession of 
the persons of Counts Egmont and Hoom, with their 
private secretaries, and to imprison Antony van Straelen, 
Burgomaster of Antwerp, and a confidential friend of the 
Prince of Orange. Many other arrests were made; and 
Alva, having caught his victims, invented an instrument 
to help him to dispose of them. 

By the mere fiat of his will he created a judicial 
chamber, whose decisions were to override those of any 
other court of law in the Netherlands, and which was to 
be responsible to none, not even to the Council of State. 
It was called the CouncU of Tumults, but is better known 
by its popular name, 7^ Bloody Tribunal, It consisted 
of twelve members, among whom were Barlaymont and a 
few of the most violent Bomanists of the Netherlands; 
but only two, Juan de Vargas and del Bio, both Spaniards, 
were permitted to vote and influence the decisions. Del 
Bio was a nonentity; but de Vargas was a very stem 
reality — a man of infamous life, equally notorious for the 
delight he took in slaughtering his fellow-men and the 
facility with which he murdered the Latin language ! He 


brought the whole population of the Netherlands within 
the grip of the public executioner by his indictment: 
HoBreiiGi fraxerunt templa, honi nihil faxerunt contra ; ergo 
debeni omnes patibvJare ; by which he meant, The heretics 
have broken open churches^ the orthodox have done nothing 
to hvider them ; therefore they ought aU of them to be hanged 
together. Alva reserved all final decisions for his own 
judgment, in order that the work might be thoroughly 
dona He wrote to the King, " Men of law only condemn 
for crimes that are proved, whereas your Majesty knows 
that affairs of State are governed by very different rules 
from the laws which they have here." 

At its earlier sittings this terrible tribunal defined the 
crime of treason, and stated that its punishment was 
death. The definition extended to eighteen articles, and 
declared it to be treason — to have presented or signed 
any petition against the new bishoprics, the Inquisition, 
or the Placards] to have tolerated public preachiog 
under any circumstances ; to have omitted to resist 
iconoclasm, or field-preaching, or the presentation of the 
Bequest] to have asserted that the King had not the 
right to suspend the charters of the provinces; or to 
maintain that the Council of Tumults had not a right to 
override all the laws and privileges of the Netherlands. 
All these things were treason, and all of them were 
capital offences. Proof was not required; all that was 
needed was reasonable suspicion, or rather What the 
Duke of Alva believed to be so. The Council soon got 
to work. It sent commissioners through every part of 
the land — towns, villages, districts — to search for any 
who might be suspected of having committed any act 
which could be included within their definition of treason. 
Informers were invited, were bribed, to come forward; 
and soon shoals of denunciations and evidence flowed in 
to them. The accused were brought before the Council, 
tried (if the procedure could be called a trial), and 
condemned in batches. The records speak of ninety-five, 
eighty-four, forty-six, thirty-five at a tima Alva wrote 


to Philip that no fewer than fifteen hundred had been 
taken in their beds early on Ash-Wednesday morning, 
and later he announces another batch of eight hundred. 
In each case he adds, " I have ordered all of them to be 
executed." In view of these records, the language of a 
contemporary chronicler does not appeared exaggerated : 

''The gallows, the wheel, stakes, trees along the high- 
ways, were laden with carcasses or limbs of those who had 
been hanged, beheaded, or roasted ; so that the air which 
God made for the respiration of the living, was now become 
the common grave or habitation of the dead. Every day 
produced fresh objects of pity and of mourning, and the 
noise of the bloody passing-bell was continually heard, 
which by the martyrdom of this man's cousin, and the 
other's brother or friend, rang dismal peals in the hearts of 
the survivors." * 

Whole families left their dwellings to shelter themselves 
m the woods, and, goaded by their misery, pillaged and 
plundered. The priests had been active as informers, and 
these WUd'Beggars, as they were called, ** made excursions 
on them, serving themselves of the darkest nights for 
revenge and robbery, punishing them not only by despoiling 
them of their goods, but by disfiguring their faces, cutting 
off ears and noses." The country was in a state of 

Margaret, Duchess of Parma, the nominal Begent of 
the Netherlands, had found her position intolerable since 
the arrival of the Duke of Alva, and was permitted by 
Philip to resign (Oct. 6th, 1667). Alva henceforth 

* Bnndt, BiMory nf the Beformation, etc. i 261, 266. The ezecutions 
v«re Utterly aooompanied by additional atrocious cruelty. "It boing 
perodTed with what coTiNtancy and alacrity many persons went to the fire, 
utd how they opened their months to make a free confession of their faith, 
ud that the wooden balls or gags were wont to slip out, a dreadful machine 
VM ioTented to hinder it for the future : they prepared two little irons, 
between which the tongue was screwed, which being seared at the tip with 
* glowing iron, would swell to such a degree as to become immovable and 
incapable of being drawn back ; thus fastened, the tongue would wriggle 
tlwQt with the pain of burning, and yield a hoUow sound " (L 275). 



was untrammelled by even nominal restraint. A proceea 
was begun against the Counts Egmont and Hoom, and 
WiUiam of Orange was proclaimed an outlaw (Jan. 24th, 
1568) unless he submitted himself for trial before the 
Council of Tumults, Some days afterwards, his eldest son» 
a boy of fifteen and a student in the University of Louvain, 
was kidnapped and carried off to Spain.^ 

William replied in his famous Justificaiion of the Prinoe 
of Orange against his CaiumniatorSt in which he dedaied 
that he, a citizen of Brabant, a Knight of the Grolden 
Fleece, a Prince of the Holy Boman Empire, one of the 
sovereign Princes of Europe (in virtue of the principality 
of Orange), could not be summoned before an incompetent 
tribunal. He reviewed the events in the Netherlands 
since the accession of Philip n., and spoke plainly against 
the misgovemment caused, he said diplomatically, by the 
evil counsels of the King's advisers The Justification 
was published in several languages, and was not merely an 
act of defiance to Philip, but a plea made on behalf of 
his country to the whole of civilised Europe. 

The earlier months of 1668 had been spent by the 
Prince of Orange in military preparations for the relief of 
his countrymen, and in the spring his army was ready. 
The campaign was a failure. Hoogstraten was defeated. 
Louis of Nassau had a temporary success at Heiliger- 
Lee (May 23rd, 1568), only to be routed at Jemmingen 
(July 2l8t, 1568). After William had issued* a pathetic 
but unavailing manifesto to Protestant Europe, a second 
expedition was sent forth only to meet defeat The 
cause of the Netherlands seemed hopeles& 

But Alva was beginning to find himself in difficulties.. 
On the news of the repulse of his troops at Heiliger-Lee 
he had hastily beheaded the Counts Egmont and Hoom. 
Instead of striking terror into the hearts of the Nether- 
landers, the execution roused them to an undying hatred 
of the Spaniard. He was now troubled by lack of money 
to pay his troops. . He had promised Philip to make gold 

' Oachard, Oofr€$pondanc$ d$ O n Hiaums U TaeUwnm^ liL 17. 


flow from the Low Countries to Spain ; but his rule had 
destroyed the commerce and manufactures of the country, 
the source of its wealth. He was almost dependent on 
subsidies from Spain. Elizabeth of England bad been 
assisting her fellow Protestants in the way she liked best, 
by seizing Spanish treasure ships ; and Alva was reduced 
to find the money he needed within the Netherlands. 

It was then that he proposed to the States General, 
summoned to meet him (March 20th, 1569), his notorious 
scheme of taxation, which finally ruined him — a tax of one 
per cent (the " hundredth penny ") to be levied once for all 
on all property; a tax of five per cent (the "twentieth 
penny) to be levied at every sale or tmnsfer of landed 
property : and a tax of ten per cent (the " tenth penny ") 
on aU articles of commerce each time they were sold. 
This scheme of taxation would have completely ruined a 
commercial and manufacturing country. It met with uni- 
versal resistanca Provinces, towns, magistrates, guilds, the 
bishops and the clergy — everyone protested against the 
taxation. Even Philip's Council at Madrid saw the im- 
possibility of exacting such taxes from a country. Alva 
swore that he would have his own way. The town and 
district of Utrecht had been the first to protest Alva 
quartered the regiment of Lombardy upon them ; but not 
even the licence and brutality of the soldiers could force 
the wretched people to pay. Alva proclaimed the whole 
of the inhabitants to be guilty of high treason ; he took 
from them all their charters and privileges ; he declared 
their whole property confiscated to the King. But 
these were the acts of a furious madman, and were unavail- 
ing. He then postponed the collection of the hundredth 
and of the tenth pennies ; but the need of money forced 
him on, and he gave definite orders for the collection of the 
** tenth " and the " twentieth penniea" The trade and 
manufactures of the country came to a sudden standstill, 
and Alva at last knew that he was beaten. He had to be 
satisfied with a payment of two millions of florins for two 


The real fighting force among the Beformed Nether* 
landers was to be found, not among the landsmen, but 
in the sailors and fishermen. It is said that Admiral 
Coligny was the first to point this out to the Prince of 
Orange. He acted upon the advice, and in 1569 he had 
given letters of marque to some eighteen small vessels to 
cruise in the narrow seas and attack the Spaniards. At 
first they were little better than pirates, — ^men of various 
nationalities united by a fierce hatred of Spaniards and 
Papists, feared by friends and foes alike. William at- 
tempted, at first somewhat unsuccessfully, to reduce them 
to discipline and order, by issuing with his letters of 
marque orders limiting their indiscriminate pillage, insist- 
ing upon the maintenance of religious services on boards 
and declaring that one-third of the booty was to be given 
to himself for the common good of the country. In their 
earlier days they were allowed to refit and sell their plunder 
in English ports, but these were closed to them on strong 
remonstrances from the Court of Spain. It was almost by- 
accident that they seized and held (April 1st, 1572) 
Brill or Brielle, a strongly fortified town on Voom, 
which was then an island at the mouth of the Maas, some 
twenty miles west or seaward from Botterdam. The in- 
habitants were forced to take an oath of alliance to 
William as Stadtholder under the King, and the flag of 
what was afterwards to become the United Provinces was 
hoisted on land for the first time. It was not William, 
but his brother Louis of Nassau, who was the first to see 
the future possibilities in this act. He urged the seizure 
of Flushing or Vlissingen, the chief stronghold in Zeeland» 
situated on an island at the mouth of the Honte or western 
Scheldt, and commanding the entrance to Antwerp. The 
citizens rose in revolt against the Spanish garrison; the 
Sea-Beggars^ as they were called, hurried to assist them ; 
the town was taken, and the Spanish commander, Pachecho, 
was captured and hanged. This gave the seamen possession 
of the whole island of Walcheren save the fortified town of 
Middleburg. Delfshaven and Schiedam were seized. The 


news swept through Holland, Zeeland, Guelderland, Utrecht, 
and Friesland, and town after town declared for William of 
Orange the Stadtholder. The leaders were marvellously 
encouraged to renewed exertions.^ Proclamations in the 
name of the new ruler were scattered broadcast through the 
country, and the people were fired by a song said tc be 
written by Sainte Aldegonde, WUhelmua van Nassoutven, 
which is still the national hymn of Holland. The Prince 
of Orange thought he might venture on another invasion, and 
was already near Brussels when the news of the Massacre 
of Saint Bartholomew reached him. His plans had been based 
on assistance from France, urged by Coligny and promised 
by Charles ix. ** What a sledge-hammer blow (coup de 
masstie) that has been/* he wrote to his brother ; ** my only 
hope was from Franca" Mens, which Louis had seized in 
the south with his French troops, had to be abandoned ; and 
William, after some vain efforts, had to disband his troops. 

Then Alva came out from Brussels to wreak a fearful 
vengeance on Mens, Mechlin, Tergoes, Naarden, Haarlem, 
and Zutphen. The terms of the capitulation of Mons were 
violated. Mechlin was plundered and set on fire by the 
Spanish troop& The Spanish commander sent against 
Zutphen had orders to bum every house, and to slay men, 
women, and children. Haarlem was invested, resisted 
desperately, and then capitulated on promise of lenient 
treatment. When the Spaniards entered they butchered 
in cold blood all the Dutch soldiers and some hundreds of 
the citizens ; and, tying the bodies two and two together, 
they cast them into the Haarlem lake. It seemed as if the 
Papists had determined to exterminate the Protestants 
when they found that they could not convert them. 

Some towns, however, held out. Don Frederick, the 
son of Alva and the butcher of Haarlem, was beaten back 
from the little town of Alkmaar. The Sea-Beggars met the 
Spanish fleet sent to crush them, sank or scattered the 

' Gf. William's letters, Oarreaponda/neef etc. iii. 47-73. 
* Groen van Prinsteter, Archives ou CorrespoTidaiice intdite de la Orange* 
yaaaau (Utreobt, 1841-61). 


ships, and took the Admiral prisoner. The nation of fisher- 
men and shopkeepers, once the scorn of Spain and of 
Europe for their patient endurance of indignities, were 
seen at last to be a race of heroes, determined never again 
to endure the yoke of the Spaniard. Alva had soon to 
face a soldiery mutinous for want of pay, and to see all 
his sea approaches in the hands of Dutch sailors, whom 
the strongest fleets of Spain could not subdue. The iron 
pitiless man at last acknowledged that he was beaten, and 
demanded his recall He left Brussels on Dea 18th, 1573, 
and did not again see the land he had deluged with blood 
during a space of six yeara Like all tyrants, he had 
great faith in his system, even when it had broken in his 
hand. Had he been a little more severe, added a few more 
drops to the sea of blood he had spilled, all would have 
gone well The only advice he could give to his successor 
was, to bum down every town he could not garrison with 
Spanish troops. 

The new Spanish Begent was Don Louis Bequesens-y- 
Zuniga, a member of the higher nobility of Spain, and a 
Grand Commander of the Knights of Malta. He was 
high-minded, and of a generous disposition. Had he been 
sent to the Netherlands ten years sooner, and allowed to 
act with a free hand, the history of the Netherlands might 
have been different His earlier efforts at government 
were marked by attempts to negotiate, and he was at 
pains to give Philip his reasons for his conduct. 

" Before my arrival," he wrote, " I could not comprehend 
how the rebels contrived to maintain fleets so considerable, 
while your Majesty could not maintain one. Now I see 
that men who are fighting for their lives, their families, 
their property, and their false religion, in short, for their own 
cause, are content if they receive only rations without pay." 

He immediately reversed the policy of Alva : he re- 
pealed the hated taxes; dissolved the Council of Blood, 
and published a general amnesty. But he could not come 
to terms with the "rebela" William of Orange refused 


all negotiation which was not based on three preliminary 
conditions — freedom of conscience, and liberty to preach 
the Gospel according to the Word of God ; the restoration 
of all the ancient charters; and the withdrawal of all 
Spaniards from all posts miUtary and civiL He would 
accept no truce nor amnesty without these. '' We have 
heard too often/' he said, '' the words Agreed and Eternal. 
If I have your word for it, who will guarantee that the Sang 
will not deny it, and be absolved for his breach of faith by 
the Pope ? " Bequesens, hating the necessity, had to carry 
on the struggle which the policy of his King and of the 
Begents who preceded him had provoked. 

The fortune of war seemed to be unchanged. The 
patriots were always victorious at sea and tenacious in 
desperate defence of their fortified towns when they were 
besieged, but they went down before the veteran Spanish 
infantry in almost every battle fought on land In the 
b^inning of 1574 two fortresses were invested. The 
patriots were besieging Middleburg, and the Spaniards 
had invested Leyden. The Sea-Beggars routed the Spanish 
fleet in a bloody fight in the mouth of the Scheldt, and 
Middleburg had to surrender. Leyden had two months' 
respite owing to a mutiny among the Spanish soldiers, but 
the citizens n^lected the opportimity thus given them 
to revictual their town. It was again invested (May 
26 th), and hardly pressed. Louis of Nassau, leading an 
army to its assistance, was totally routed at Mookerheide, 
and he and his younger brother Henry were among the 
slain. The fate of Leyden seemed to be sealed, when 
William suggested to the Estates of Holland to cut the 
dykes and let in the sea. The plan was adopted. But 
the dykes took long to cut, and when they were opened 
and the water began to flow in slowly, violent winds 
swept it back to the sea. Within Leyden the supply of 
food was melting away; and the famished and anxious 
burghers, looking over the plain from the steeples of the 
town, saw help coming so slowly that it seemed as if it 
oould arrive only when it was too lata The Spaniards 


knew also of the coming danger, and, calculating on the 
extremities of the townsfolk, urged on them to surrender, 
with promisee of an honourable capitulation. ** We have 
two arms," one of the defenders on the walls shouted back, 
^ and when hunger forces us we will eat the one and fight 
yott with the other." Four weary months passed amidst 
indescribable sufiTerings, when at last the sea reached the 
walla With it came the patriotic fleet, sailing over buried 
com fields and gardens, piloted through orchards and 
villages. The Spaniards fled in terror, for the Sea-Beggars 
were upon them, shouting their battle-cry, " Sooner Turks 
than Papists." Townsmen and sailors went to the great 
church to offer thanksgiving for the deliverance which had 
been brought them from the sea. When the vast audience 
was singing a psalm of deliverance, the voices suddenly 
ceased, and nothing was heard but low sobbing; the 
people, broken by long watching and famine, overcome by 
unexpected deliverance, could only weep. 

The good news was brought to Delft by Hans Brugge, 
who found William in church at the afternoon service. 
When the sermon was ended, the deliverance of Leyden 
was announced from the pulpit. William, weak with 
illness as he was, rode off to Leyden at once to congratu- 
late the citizens on their heroic defence and miraculous 
deliverance. There he proposed the foundation of what 
became the famous University of Leyden, which became 
for Holland what Wittenberg had been to Grermany, 
Geneva to Switzerland, and Saumur to France. 

The si^e of Leyden was the turning-point in the war 
for independence. The Spanish Begent saw that a new 
Protestant State was slowly and almost imperceptibly 
forming. His troops were almost uniformly victorious 
in the field, but the victories did not seem to be of much 
value. He decided once more to attempt negotiation. 
The conferences came to nothing. The utmost that Philip 
n. would concede was that the Protestants should have 
time to sell their possessions and leave the country. 

war was again renewed, when death came to relieve 


Bequesens of his difficulties (March 1575). His last 
months were disgraced by the recommendation he made 
to his master to offer a reward for the assassination of the 
Prince of Orange. 

The history of the next few years is a tangled story 
which would take too long to tell. When Bequesens died 
the treasury was empty, and no public money was forth- 
coming. The Spanish soldiers mutinied, clamouring for 
their pay. They seized on some towns and laid hold on 
the citadel of ^twerp. Then occurred the awful pillage 
of the great city, when, during three terrible November 
days, populous and wealthy Antwerp suffered all the 
horrors that could be inflicted upon it 

The sudden death of Bequesens had left everything in 
confusion; and leading men, both Boman Catholic and 
Protestant, conceived that advantage should be taken of 
the absence of any Spanish Governor to see whether all 
the seventeen provinces of the Netherlands could not com- 
bine on some common programme which would unite the 
country in spite of their religious differences. Delegates 
met together at Ghent (Oct. 28th, 1576) and drafted a 
treaty. A meeting of States Genei'al for the southern 
provinces was called to assemble at Brussels in November, 
and the members were discussing the terms of the treaty 
when the news of the "Spanish Fury" at Antwerp 
reached them. The story of the ghastly horrors perpetrated 
on their countrymen doubtless hastened their decision, 
and the treaty was ratified both by the States General 
and by the Council of State. The PacificcUian of Ohent 
cemented an alliance between the southern provinces 
represented in the States General which met at Brussels 
and the northern provinces of Holland and Zeeland. Its 
chief provisions were that all should combine to drive the 
Spanish and other foreign troops out of the land, and that 
a formal meeting of delegates from all the seventeen 
provinces should be called to deliberate upon the religious 
question. In the meantime the Boman Catholic religion 
was to be maintained ; the Placards were to be abolished ; 


the Prince of Orange was declared to be the Governor of 
the seventeen provinces . and the Admiral-Greneral of 
Holland and Zeeland; and the confiscation of the 
properties of the houses of Nassau and Brederode was 

Don John of Austria had been appointed by Philip 
Begent of the Netherlands, and was in Luxemburg early 
in November. His arrival there was intimated to the 
States Greneral, who refused to acknowledge him as Begent 
unless he would approve of the Pacification of Ghent and 
swear to maintain the ancient privileges of the various 
provinces. Months were spent in negotiations, but the 
States General were unmovable. He yielded at length, 
and made his State entry into Brussels on May Ist, 1577. 
When once there he found himself overshadowed by 
William, who had been accepted as leader by Boman 
Catholics and Protestants alike. But Philip with great 
exertions had got together an army of twenty thousand 
veteran Spanish and Italian troops, and sent them to the 
Netherlands under the command of Alexander Famese, 
the son of the former Begent, Margaret Duchess of Parma. 
The young Duke of Parma was a man of consummate 
abilities, military and diplomatic, and was by far the 
ablest agent Philip ever had in the Low Countries. He 
defeated the patriotic army at Gemblours (Jan. Slst, 1578), 
and several towns at once opened their gates to Parma 
and Don John. To increase the confusion, John Casimir, 
brother of the Elector Palatine, invaded the land from 
the east at the head of a large body of German mercenary 
soldiers to assist the Calviuists; the Archduke Matthias, 
brother of the Emperor Eudolph, was already in the country, 
invited by the Boman Catholics ; and the Duke of Anjou 
had invaded the Netherlands from the south to uphold 
the interests of those Bomanists who did not wish to 
tolerate Protestantism but hated the Spaniards. These 
foreigners represented only too well the latent divisions 
of the country — divisions which were skilfully taken 
advantage of by the Duke of Parma. After struggling 


in vain for a union of the whole seventeen provinces on 
the basis of complete religious toleration, Willjam saw 
that his task was hopeless. Neither the majority of the 
Bomanists nor the majority of the Protestants could 
understand toleration. Delegates of the Bomanist provinces 
of Hainault, Douay, and Artois met at Arras (Jan. 5th, 
1579) to form a league which had for its ultimate in- 
tention a reconciliation with Spain on the basis of the 
JPadJieaiion of Ghent, laying stress on the provision for 
the maintenance of the Soman Catholic religion. Thus 
challenged, the northern provinces of Holland, Zeeland, 
Utrecht, Guelderland, and Zutphen met at Utrecht (Jan. 
29th, 1579), and formed a league to maintain themselves 
against all foreign Princes, including the King of Spain. 
These two leagues mark the definite separation of the 
Bomanist South from the Protestant North, and the 
creation of a new Protestant State, the United Provinces. 
William did not sign the Treaty of Utrecht until May 3rd. 

In 1581, Philip made a last attempt to overcome his 
indomitable antagonist He published the Ban against 
him, denouncing him as a traitor and an enemy of the 
human race, and offering a reward of twenty-five thousand 
crowns and a patent of nobility to anyone who should 
deliver him to the King dead or aliva William answered 
in his famous Apology, which gives an account of his whole 
career, and contains a scathing exposure of Philip's 
mi8deed& The Apology was translated into several 
languages, and sent to all the Courts of Europa Brabant, 
Flanders, Utrecht, Guelderland, Holland, and Zeeland 
answered Philip by the celebrated Act of Abjuration 
(July 26th, 1581), in which they solemnly renounced 
allegiance to the King of Spedn, and constituted themselves 
an independent republic. 

The date of the abjuration may be taken as the 
beginning of the new era, the birth of another Protestant 
nation. Its young life had been consecrated in a baptism 
of blood and fire such as no other nation in Europe had to 
endura Its Declaration of Independence did not procure 


immediate relief. Nearly thirty years of further struggle 
awaited it ; and it was soon to mourn the loss of its heroic 
leader. The rewards promised by Philip n. were a spur to 
the zeal of Bomanist fanatics. In 1582 (March 18thX 
Juan Jaureguy, a Biscayan, made a desperate attempt at 
assassination, which for the moment was thought to be 
successful. The pistol was so close to the Prince that his 
hair and beard were set on fire, and the ball entering under 
the right ear, passed through the palate and out by the 
left jaw. Two yeai^ later (July 9th, 1584), William fell 
mortally wounded by Balthasar Gerard, whose heirs 
claimed the reward for assassination promised by Philip, 
and received part of it from the King. The Prince's last 
words were : " My God, have mercy on my soul and on 
these poor peopla" 

The sixteenth century produced no nobler character 
than that of William, Prince of Orange. His family were 
Lutherans, but they permitted the lad to be brought up 
in the lioman Catholic religion — ^the condition which 
Charles v. had imposed before he would consent to give 
effect to the will of Ben^, Prince of Orange,^ who, dying 
at the early age of twenty-six, had left his large possessions 
to his youthful cousin, William of Nassau. In an intoler- 
ant age he stands forth as the one great leader who rose 
above the religious passions of the time, and who strove 
all his life to secure freedom of conscience and right of 
public worship for men of all creeds.* He was a con- 
sistent liberal Boman Catholic down to the close of 1555. 
His letter (January 24th, 1566) to Margaret of Parma 

^ The smaU principality of Orange-Chalont was situated in the sontL :/ 
France on the river Rhone, its south-west comer being about ten miles 
north of the city of Avignon. Henry of Nassau, the uncle of our William 
of Orange, had married Claude, the sister of Philibert, the last male of the 
House of Orange-Chalons ; and Philibert had bequeathed his principality 
to his nephew Ren6, the son of Henry and Claude. The principality was 
vf no great value compared with the other possessions of the House of 
Nassau, but as it was under no overlord, its possessor took rank among the 
wvereign princes of Europe. 

' Putnam, William the Silent^ the Prince of Oraiige^ the moderate tnam 
qfthe SixteerUh CeTiiury, 2 vols., New York, 1895. 


perhaps reveals the beginnings of a changa He called 
himself " a good Christian/' not a " good Catholic/' Before 
the end of that year he had said privately that he was 
ready to return to the faith of his childhood and subscribe 
the Augsburg Confession. During his exile in 1568 he 
had made a daily study of the Holy Scriptures, and, what- 
ever the exact shade of his theological opinions, had become 
a deeply religious man, animated with the lofty idea that 
God had called him to do a great work for Him and for 
His persecuted people. His private letters, meant for no 
eyes but those of his wife or of his most familiar friends, 
are full of passages expressing a quiet faith in God and in 
the leadings of His Providence.^ During the last years of 
his life the teachings of Calvin had more and more taken 
hold on his intellect and sympathy, and he publicly declared 
himself a Calvinist in 1573 (October 23rd). A hatred of 
every form of oppression was his ruling passion, and he him- 
self has told us that it was when he learnt that the Kings 
of France and Spain had come to a secret understanding 
to extirpate heresy by fire and sword, that he made the 
silent resolve to drive ** This vermin of Spaniards out of 
his country.*' • 

The Protestant Netherlands might well believe them- 
selves lost when he fell under the pistol of the assassin ; 
but he left them a legacy in the persons of his confidential 
friend Johan van Oldenbarneveldt and of his son Maurice. 
Oldenbameveldt's patient diplomatic 'genius completed the 
political work left imfinished by William ; and Maurice,' 

^ GAchard, Ocrrupondanee de Chtillaume U TaeUume, Prince d^Orange, 
U. 110. 

' It IB said that William's retioenee on hearing this news, which moved 
him 80 mnoh, gained him the name of ** The Silent " {le taeUume) : it is more 
probable that the soubriquet was given to him by Cardinal de Granvelle. 

' Hanrice succeeded his father as Stadtholder, and became Prince of 
Orange in 1618 on the death of his elder brother, Pliilip William, who was 
kidnapped from Louvain and brought up as a Roman Catholic bj Philip 
II. William was married four times : 

a. In 1550, to Anne of Kgmont, only child of Maximilian of Buren. 
Her son was Philip William ; she died in March 1658. 

(. In 1561, to Anne, daughter of the Elector Maurice of Saxony, and 


a lad of seventeen at his father's death, was acknowledged 
only a few years afterwards as the greatest military 
leader in Europe. The older man in the politician's study, 
and the boy-general in the field, were able to keep the 
Spaniards at bay, until at length, in 1607 (October), a 
suspension of arms was agreed to. This resulted in a 
truce for twelve years (April 9th, 1609), which was after- 
wards prolonged indefinitely. The Dutch had won their 
independence, and had become a strong Protestant power 
whose supremacy at sea was challenged only by England. 

Notwithstanding the severity of the persecutions which 
they endured, the Protestants of the Netherlands organised 
themselves into churches, and as early as 1563 the dele- 
gates from the various churches met in a synod to settle the 
doctrine and discipline which was to bind them together. 
This was not done without internal difficulties. The 
people of the Netherlands had received the Evangelical 
faith from various sources, and the converts tenaciously 
clung to the creed and ecclesiastical system with which they 
were first acquainted. The earliest Seformation preachers 
in the Low Countries were followers of Luther, and many 
of them had been trained at Wittenberg. Lutherans 
were numerous among the lesser nobility and the more 
substantial burghers. Somewhat later the opinions of 
Zwingli also found their way into the Netherlands, and 
were adopted by many very sincere believers. The French- 
granddaughter of Philip of Hesse. She early developed symptoms of 
incipient insanity, which came to a height when she deserted her husband 
in 1567 and went to live a disreputable life in Cologne. She became insane, 
and her family seized her and imprisoned her until she died in 157S. She 
was the mother of Maurioe. 

«. In 1571, Charlotte de Bourbon, daughter of the Due de Montpensier. 
She had been a nun, had embraced the Reformed faith, and fled to Germany. 
The marriage was a singularly happy one. She was scarcely reoorered from 
childbirth when William was almost killed by Jaureguy, and the shook, 
combined with her incessant toil in nursing her husband, was too mnch 
for her strength ; she died in 1582 (May 6th). 

d. In 1588, to Louise de Coligny, daughter of the celebrated Admiral 
Coligny. She had lost both her parents in the Massacre of Saint Bartholomew. 
She was a wonderful and charming woman, beloved by her stepchildren 
and adored by her adopted oountry ; she suTTived her husband for^ yean. 


speaking provinces in the south had been evangelised for 
the most part by missioners tramed under Calvin at 
Greneva, and they brought his theology with them. Thus 
Luther, Zwingli, and Calvin had all attached followers in 
the Low Countries. The differences found expression, not 
so much in matters of doctrine as in preferences for 
different forms of Church government ; and although they 
were almost overcome, they reappeared later in the contest 
which emerged in the beginning of the seventeenth century 
about the relation which ought to subsist between the civil 
and the ecclesiastical authorities. In the end, the teaching 
of Geneva displaced both Lutheranism and Zwinglianism, 
and the Beformed in the Netherlands became Calvinist in 
doctrine and discipline. 

Accordingly, most of the churches were early organised 
on the principles of the churches in France, with a minister 
and a consistory of elders and deacons ; and when delegates 
from the churches met to deliberate upon an organisation 
which would bind all together, the system which was 
adopted was the Presbyterian or Conciliar. The meeting 
was at Emden (1569), as it was too dangerous to assemble 
within the jurisdiction of the Government of the Nether- 
lands. It was resolved that the Church should be ruled 
by consistorieSf classes, and synods. This Conciliar organisation, 
thus adopted at Emden in 1569, might not have met with 
unanimous support had not the Beformed been exposed to 
the full fury of Alva's persecution. The consistorial 
system of the Lutheran Church, and the position which 
Zwingli assigned to the magistracy, are possible only when 
the civil government is favourably disposed towards the 
Church within the land which it rules ; but Fresbyterianism, 
as France, Scotland, and the Netherlands have proved, 
is the best suited for " a Church under the Cross." Nor 
need this be wondered at, for the Presbyterian or Conciliar 
is the revival of the government of the Church of the early 
centuries while still under the ban of the Boman Empire.^ 

1 Lmdflay, The Church and the Ministry in the EaHy Centwriee, 2nd «L 
(Londoii, 1908), pp^ 198, 204/., 259, 880 n., 889. 


A synod which met at Dordrecht (Dort) in 1572 
revised, enlarged, and formally adopted the articles of this 
Emden synod or conference. 

Two pecularities of the Dutch organisation ought to 
be explained. The eonmtory or kirk-session is the court 
which rules the individual congregation in Holland as in 
all other Presbyterian lands ; but in the Dutch Church all 
Church members inhabiting a city are regarded as one 
congregation; the ministers are the pastors of the city, 
preaching in turn in all its buildings set apart for public 
worship, and the people are not considered to be specially 
attached to any one of the buildings, nor to belong to the 
flock of any one of the ministers; and therefore there 
is one consistory for the whole city. This peculiarity was 
also seen in the early centuries. Then it must be noticed 
that, owing to the political organisation of the United 
Provinces, it was difficult to arrange for a National Synod. 
The civil constitution was a federation of States, in many 
respects independent of each other, who were bound to 
protect each other in war, to maintain a common army, 
and to contribute to a common military treasury. When 
William of Orange was elected Stadtholder for life, one of 
the laws which bound him was that he should not acknow- 
ledge any ecclesiastical assembly which had' not the 
approval of the civil authorities of the province in which 
it proposed to meet. This implied that each province 
was entitled to regulate its own ecclesiastical affairs. 
There could be no meeting of a National Synod unless all 
the United Provinces gave their approval Hence the 
tendency was to prevent corporate and united action. 

According to the articles of Emden, and the revised 
and enlarged edition approved at Dordrecht in 1572, it 
was agreed that office-bearers in the Church were to sign 
the Confesswn of Faith. This creed had been prepared 
by Guido de Br^s (bom at Mens in 1540) in 1561, and 
had been revised by several of his friends. It was 
based on the Confession of the French Church, and was 
originally written in French. It was approved by a series 


of Synods, and was translated into Dutch, German, and 
Latin. It is known as the Belgic Confession. Its original 
title was, A Confession of Faith, generally and unanimously 
maintained by Believers dispersed throtighout the Low 
Countries who desire to live aecordiriff to the purity of the 
Holy Oospel of our Lord Jesus Christ} The Church also 
adopted the Heidelberg Catechism^ for the instruction .of 
the young. 

The long fight against Spain and the Inquisition had 
stimulated the energies of the Church and the people of 
the Netherlands, and their Universities and theological 
schools soon rivalled older seats of learning. The 
University of Leyden, a thank-offering for the wonderful 
deliverance of the town, was founded in 1575 ; Franecker, 
ten years later, in 1585; and there followed in rapid 
succession the Universities of Gronningen (1612), Utrecht 
(1636). and Harderwyk (1648). Dutch theologians and 
lawyers became famous during the seventeenth century 
for their learning and acumen. 

^ MttUer, Die BekenntnisKhri/ten der reformierten Kvrtke (Leipzig, 
1003), p. 283 ; Sohaff, TKi Crteds tf the Evangelical PrtAedaml Churches, 




If civilifiation means the art of living together in peace, 
Scotland was almost four hundred years behind the rest of 
Western Europe in the beginning of the sixteenth century. 

' 90I7ROE8 :—C<iUefyiar of ths State Papen rdaJting to Seottand and Mary 

Q%een qfScots^ 1547-1603 ( Edinburgh, 1898, etc. ) ; CaUndar <^ State PaperM, 

Elizabeth, Foreign (Loudon, 1868, etc.) ; Acts of the ParHament qf Seotlaaed^ 

ii. (1814); Begister </ the Greai Seal of Scotland (Edinburgh, 1886); 

Register of the Privy Council of Scotland, L (Edinburgh, 1877) ; Labanoff, 

Lettree ifUditee de Marie Stuart (Parle, 1889), and Lettres, inatructione 

et nUmdres de Marie Stvart (London, 1844) ; Pollen, Papal Negotiationg 

with Mary Queen qf Scots (SoottiBh Historical Society, Edinburgh, 1901) ; 

Teulet, Papiers d^iial . . . relalifs d VhUioire de Vteosae (Bannatyne Club, 

1851), and BelcUions politiques de la France et de VEspagne avee tScoeae 

(Paris, 1862) ; Leeley, i7ts^(2^^oo^iui (Scottish Text Society, Edinburgh, 

1888) ; John Knox, W&rks (edited by D. Laing, Edinburgh, 1846-^6) ; 

The Book of the Universal Kirk (Bannatyne Club, Edinburgh, 1889) ; Ovde 

and Oodlie Ballatis (edited by Mitchell for Scottish Text Society, Edinburgh, 

1897) ; (Dunlop), A Collection qf ConfessUms of Faith, etc. ii. (Edinburgh, 

1722) ; Calderwood, History of the Kirk <f Scotland (Woodrow Society, 

Edinburgh, 1842-49) ; Row, History qf the Kirk of Scotland (Woodrow 

Society, Edinburgh, 1842) ; Spottiswoode, History of the Church and State 

qf Scotland (Spottiswoode Society, Edinburgh, 1851) ; Soott, FouU JSceles^m 

Scotieofue (Edinburgh, 1866-71); Sir David Lindsay, PoeUcal JForks 

(eilited by David Laing, Edinburgh, 1879) ; The Book qf Common Order of 

the Church of Scotland (edited by Sprott and Leishman, Edinburgh, 1868) ; 

Botuli Scotia ; Calvin's Letters (Corpus RefomuUorum, xzxviii.-zlviii.). 

Later Books : D. Hay Fleming, Mary Queen of Scots from her Urth until 
herjlightinto England (London, 1897), The Scottish Reformation (K^JkhnTnh^ 
1904), and The Story of the Scottish Covenants (Edinburgh, 1904) ; P. Hume 
Brown, John Knox (London, 1895), and Charge Buchanan (Edinburgh, 1890) ; 
M'Crie, Life of Knox (Edinburgh, 1840) ; Grub, EceUsiasUeal History of 
i$«o^aftd (Edinburgh, 1861); Cunningham, The Church History <f Scotland 
(Edinburgh, 1882) ; Lorimer, Life of Patrick Hamilton (Edinburgh, 1867), 
John Knox and the Church of England (London, 1875). 



The history of her kings is a tale of assassinations, long 
minorities, regencies scrambled and fought for by un- 
scrupulous barons ; and kingly authority, which had been 
growing in other countries, was on the verge of extinction 
in Scotland. Her Parliament or Estates of the Bealm 
was a mere feudal assembly, with more than the usual 
uncertainty regarding who were entitled to be present; 
while its peculiar management by a Committee of the 
Estates made it a facile instrument in the hands of the 
faction who were for the moment in power, and robbed it 
of any stable influence on the country as a whole. The 
Church, wealthy so far as acreage was concerned, had 
become secularised to an extent unknown elsewhere, and 
its benefices served to provide for the younger sons of the 
great feudal families in a manner which recalls the days 
of Charles the Hammer.^ 

Yet the country had been prepared for the Beforma- 
tion by the education of the people, especially of the middle 
class, by constant intercourse between Scotland and France 
and the Low Countries, and by the sympathy which Scottish 
students had felt for the earlier movements towards 
Church reform in England and Bohemia ; while the 
wealth and immorality of the Bomish clergy, the poverty 
of the nobility and landed gentry, and the changing 
political situation, combined to give an impetuft' to the 
eRbrts of those who longed for a Beformation. 

More than one historian has remarked that. the state 
of education in Scotland had always been considerably in 
advance of what might have been expected from its 
backward civilisation. This has been usually traced to 
the enduring influence of the old Celtic Church — a Church 
which had maintained its hold on the country for more 
than seven centuries, and which had always looked upon 
the education of the people as a religious duty. Old 
Celtic ecclesiastical rules declared that it was as important 
to teach boys and girls to read, as to dispense the sacraments, 
and to take part in soul-friendship (confession). The 

1 G£ CoMfihridge Modem Sitlory (Cambridge, 1908), 0. 661-68. 


Celtic monastery had always been an educational centre ; 
and when Charles the Great established the High Schools 
which grew to be the older Universities of northern 
Europe, the Celtic monasteries furnished many of the 
teachers. The very complete educational system of the 
old Church had been taken over into the Boman Church 
which supplanted it, imder Queen Margaret and her sons. 
Hence it was that the Cathedral and Monastery Schools 
produced a number of scholars who were eager to enrich 
their stores of learning beyond what tbe mother-country 
could give them, and the Scotch wandering student was 
well known during the Middle Ages on the Continent of 
Europe. One Scottish bishop founded a Scots Coll^;e 
in Paris for his countrymen ; other bishops obtained from 
English kings safe-conducts for their students to reside 
at Oxford and Cambridge. 

This scholastic intercourse brought Scotland in touch 
with the intellectual movements in Europe. Scottish 
students at Paris listened to the lectures of Peter Dubois 
and William of Ockham when they taught the theories 
contained in the Defensor Pacts of Marsiglio of Padua, 
who had expounded that the Church is not the hierarchy, 
but the Christian people, and had denied both the 
temporal and spiritual supremacy of the Pope.. The 
Botuli Scotics^ or collection of safe-conducts issued by 
English monarchs to inhabitants of the northern kingdom, 
show that a continuous stream of Scottish students went 
to the English Universities from 1357 to 1389. Duiing 
the earlier years of this period — that is, up to 1364 — 
the safe-conducts applied for and granted entitled the 
bearers to go to Oxford or Cambridge or any other, place 
of learning in England; but from 1364 to 1379 Oxford 
seems to have been the only University frequented. 
During one of these years (1365) safe-conducts were 
given to no fewer than eighty-one Scottish students to 
study in Oxford. The period was that during which 

^RUuli ScUuB, 1. 808, 815, 816, 822, 825, 828, 829, 849, 851, 859, 877, 
881, 886, 891, 896, li. 8, 20, 45, 100. 


the influence of Widif was most powerful, when Oxford 
seethed with Lollardy; and the teachings of the great 
Reformer were thus brought into Scotland. 

LoUardj seems to have made great progress. In 
1405, Bobert, Duke of Albany, was made Governor of 
Scotland, and Andrew Wyntoun in his Metrical Chronicle 
praises him for his fidelity to the Church : 

''He wes a constant Catholike, 
All Lollard he hatjt and heretike."^ 

From this time down to the very dawn of the Reforma- 
tion we find references to Lollardy in contemporary 
writers and in Acts of the Scots Parliament ; and all the 
earlier histories of the Beformation movement in Scotland 
relate the story of the Lollards of Kyle and theur inter- 
view with King James iv.* 

The presence of Lollard opinions in Scotland must 
have attracted the attention of the leaders of the Hussites 
in Bohemia. In 1433 (July 23rd), Paul Craw or Crawar 
was seized, tried before the Inquisitorial court, condemned, 
and burnt as a heretic. He had brought letters from the 
Hussites of Prag, and acknowledged that he had been sent 
to interest the Scots in the Hussite movement— one of 
the many emissaries who were despatched in 1431 and 
1432 by Procopius and John Bokycana into all European 
lands. He was found by the Inquisitor to be a man in 
soicris Uteris et in allegcUione Bihlice promptiis et exerdtcLtv^ 
Knox tells us that he was condemned for denying 
transubstantiation, auricular confession to the priests, and 
prayers to saints departed. We learn also from Knox 
that at his burning the executioner put a ball of brass in 
his mouth that the people might not hear his defenca 
His execution did not arrest the progress of Lollardy. 

^ Wyntoun, Orygyntde Cronykil, iz. e. zxvL 2778, 2774. 

* For a eolleotion of these references, ot The SeoUiih Histarieal BevUw 
tot April 1904, pp. 266 ff, Purye/B revision of Widifs New TeaUment was 
translAted bj Mnrdoch Nisbet into Soots. It is being published by the 
Seotfeish Text Society, The New TestamerU in Scot$^ i 1901, iL 1903. Tht 
translation was made about 1520. 


The earlier poems of Sir David lindsay contain Lollard 
opinions. By the time that these were published (1629- 
1530), Lutheran writings had found their way into 
Scotland, and may have ijifluenced the writer; but the 
sentiments in the Testament and Complaynt of the Papyiigo 
are more Lollard than Lutheran. 

The Bomish Church in Scotland was comparatively 
wealthy, and. the rude Scottish nobles managed to place 
their younger sons in many a fat living, with the result 
that the manners of the clergy did little honour to their 
sacred calling. Satirists began to point the moraL John 
Bow says : 

" As for the more particulare means whereby many in 
Scotland got some knowledge of God's trueth, in the time 
of great darkness, there were some books sett out, such as 
Sir David Lindesay his {>oesie upon the Four MonarehieSj 
wherein many other treatises are coiiteihed, opening up 
the abuses among the Clergie at that tyme ; Wedderbum's 
Psalms and Oodtie Ballads, changing many of the old 
Popish songs unto Godlie purposes; a Complaint given 
in by the halt, blinde and poore of England, aganis the 
prelats, preists, friers, and others such kirkmen, who 
prodigallie wasted all the tithes and kirk liveings upon 
their unlawfull pleasures, so that they could get no 
sustentation nor releef as God hsui ordained. This was 
printed and came into Scotland. There were also some 
theatricall playes, comedies, and other notable histories 
acted in publict; for Sir David lindesay, his Satyre was 
acted in the Amphitheater of St. Johnestoun (Perth), before 
King James the v., and a great part of the nobilitie and 
gentrie, fra mom to even, whilk made the people sensible 
of the darknes wherain they lay, of the wickednes of their 
kirkmen, and did let them see how God's Kirk should have 
bene otherwayes guyded nor it was ; all of whilk did much 
good for that tyme." ^ 

It may be doubted, however, whether the Scottish people 
felt the real sting in such satires until they began to be 

^ Row, Bistory of the Kirk of ScoOandfrom the fear 1668 to A%guat 16SJ 
(Edinburgh, 1842), p. 6. 


taught by preachers who bad been to Wittenberg, or who 
had studied the writings of Lather and other Beformeris, 
or who had learned from private perusal of the Scriptures 
what it was to be in earnest about pardon of sin and 
salvation of souL 

Some of the towns on the East Coast w^e centres, of. 
trade with the Continent, and Leith had once been an 
obscure member of the great Hanseatic League. Lutheran 
and other tracts were smuggled into Scotlsmd from Camp- 
vers by way of Leith, Dundee, and Montrose. The authori- 
ties were on the alert, and tried to put an end to the 
practice. In 1525, Parliament forbade strangers bringing 
Lutheran books into Scotland on pain of imprisonment and 
forfeitm'e of their goods and ships ; ^ and in the same year 
the Grovernment were informed that '' sundry strangers and 
others within the diocese of Aberdeen were possessed of 
Lather's books, and favoured his errors and false opiniona" 
Two years later (1527), the Act wha made to include those 
who assisted in spreading Lutheran views. An agent of 
W^dsey informed the Cardinal that Scottish merchants 
were purchasing copies of Tindale's New Testament 
ill the Low Countries and sending them to Scotland.* 
The efforts of the Government do not seem to have been 
very successful Another Act of Parliament in 1635 
declared that none but the clergy were to be allowed to 
purchase heretical books; all others possessing such were 
required to give them up within forty daya' This legisla- 
tion clearly shows the spread of Beformed writings among 
the people of Scotland. 

The first Scottish martyr was Patrick Hamilton, a 
younger son of Sir Patrick Hamilton of Eincavel and 
Stanehouse. He had studied at Paris and Louvain. As 
he took his degree of M.A. in Paris in 1520, he had been 
there when the writings of Luther were being studied by 
all learned men, including the theological students of the 

> Ad, ParL Scot, ii. 295. 

* Hay Fleming, Tht SeoUiAJitfonnation^^ 12. 

•Ad. ParL SeoL ii. 841. 


Sorbonne (the theological faculty).^ Hamilton must have 
been impressed by the principles of the German Seformer, 
and have made no secret of his views when he returned to 
Scotland; for in the beginning of 1527 he was a suspected 
heretic, and was ordered to be summoned and accused as 
sucL He fled from Scotland, went to Wittenberg, was 
at the opening of Philip of Hesse's new Evangelical Univer- 
sity of Marburg (May 30th, 1527), and drafted the theses 
for the first academic Disputation.' He felt constrained, 
however, to return to his native land to testify against the 
corruptions of the Boman Church, and was preaching in 
Scotland in the end of autumn 1527. The .'success 


attending his ministry excited the fears of the prelatea 
He was invited, or rather enticed, to St. Andrews ; allowed 
for nearly a month to preach and dispute in the University ; 
and was then arrested and tried in the cathedral. The 
trial took place in the forenoon, and at mid-day he was 
hurried to the stake (Feb. 27th, 1528). The fire by care- 
lessness rather than with intention was slow, and death 
came only after lingering hours of agony. 

If the ecclesiastical authorities thought to stamp out 
the new faith by this mai*tyrdom, they were soon to discover 
their mistake. Alexander Alane (Alesius), who had under- 
taken to convince Patrick Hamilton of his errors, had been 
himself converted. He was arrested and imprisoned, but 
escaped to the Continent The following years witnessed 
a succession of martyrs — Henry Forrest (1533), David 
Stratton and Norman Gourlay (1534), Duncan Simpson, 
Forrester, Keillor, Beverage, Forret, Kussell, and Kennedy 

^ Luther says so himself; cf. letter to Lange of April 18th, 1519 ; De 
Wette, Dr, Martin Luthers Briefe, Sendachreiben, etc. (Berlin, 1825--28) i. 
265 ; and Herminjard, Correspondanee de$ JUformaUura dans lea pays de 
langue/ranfaise (Geneva and Paris, 1866-97), i. 47, 48. 

' These theses were translated from the Latin into the yemacular by 
John Firth, and pnblished under the title of PcUriek*8 Places. They are 
printed in Fox's Aets ai\d MonumefUey and by Knox in his ffidory ^ the 
Be/omuUum in Scotland ; The Works of John Knox collected and edited 
by David Laing (Edinburgh, 1846-64), i. 19#. For Patrick Hamilton, of. 
Lorimer, Patrick Hamilton^ the firai Preacher and Meuiyr qt ^ SeoUith 
Seformation (Edinburgh, 1857). 


(1539). The celebrated George Buchanan was imprisoned, 
but managed to escape.^ The Scots Parliament find Privy 
Council assisted the Churchmen to extirpate the new faith 
in a series of enactments which themselves bear witness to 
its spread. In 1540, in a series of Acts (March 14th) it 
was declared that the Virgin Mary was '^ to be reverently 
worshipped, and prayers made to her " for the King's pro? 
sperity, for peace with all Christian princes, for the triumph 
of the *' Faith Catholic/' and that the people " may remain 
in the faith and conform to the statutes of Holy Sirk." 
Prayers were also ordered to be made to the saints. It 
was forbidden to argue against, or impugn, the papal 
authority under pain of death and confiscation of " goods 
movable and immovable/' No one is to " cast down or 
otherwise treat irreverently or in any ways dishonour " the 
images of saints canonised by the Church. Heretics who 
have seen the error of their ways are not to discuss with 
others any matters touching "our holy faith/' No one 
suspected of heresy, even if he has recanted, is to be eligible 
to hold any ofiBce, nor to be admitted to the King's Council. 
All who assist heretics are threatened with severe punish- 
ment In 1543, notwithstanding all this legislation, the 
Lord Governor (the Earl of Arran) had to confess that 
heretics increase rapidly, and spread opinions coutrary tp the 
Church.' The terms of some of these enactments show 
that the new faith had been making converts among the 
nobility ; and they also indicate the chief points of attack 
on the Roman Church in Scotland. 

In lS42 (Dec. 14th), James v. died, leaving an infant 
daughter, Mary (b. Dea 8th), who became the Queen of 
Scots when barely a week old. Thus Scotland was again 
harassed with an infant sovereign ; and there was the 
usual scramble for the Begency, which this time involved 
questions of national policy as well as personal aggran- 

^Bnohanan, Serum Seotiearwn Historia, ziv. (p. 277 in Buddiman'f 

* AeL Fori. Scot. Si. 871, ii. 448. 


It was the settled policy of the Tudor kings to detach 
Scotland from the old French alliance, and secure it foi 
England. The marriage of Margaret Tudor to James iv. 
shows what means they thought to employ, and but for 
Margaret's quarrel with the Earl of Angus, her second 
husband, another wedding might have bound the nations 
firmly together. The French marriages of James v^ fifst 
with Madeleine, daughter of Francis L (1537), and on her 
premature death with Mary of Guise (1538), showed the 
recoil of Scotland from the English alliance. James' death 
gave Henry viii. an opportunity to renew his father's 
schemes, and his idea was to betroth his boy Edward to the 
baby Mary, and get the ** little Queen " brought to England 
for education. Many Scotsmen thought the proposal a good 
one for their country, and perhaps more were induced to 
think so by the money which Henry lavished upon them 
to secure their support They made the English party in 
Scotland. The policy of English alliance as against French 
alliance was complicated by the question of religion. 
Whatever may be thought of the character of the English 
Seformation at this date, Henry vm. hietd broken 
thoroughly with the Papacy, and union with England would 
have dragged Scotland to revolt against the mediasval 
Church. The leader of the French and Bomanist party 
in Scotland was David Beaton^ certainly the ablest and 
perhaps the most unscrupulous man there. He had been 
made Archbishop of St. Andrews, coadjutor to his aged 
uncle, in 1538. In the same month. Pope Paul IIL, who 
needed a Churchman of the highest rank to publish his Bull 
against Henry viii. in a place as near England as was 
possible to find, had sent him a Cardinal's Hat The 
Cardinal, Beaton, stood in Scotland for France cmd ^ome 
against England and the Beformation. The struggle for 
the Begency in Scotland in 1542 carried with It aaj^iter- 
national and a religious policy. The clouds heralding the 
storm which was to destroy Mary, gathered round the 
cradle of the baby Queen. 

At first the English faction prevailed. The claims of 




the Queen Mother were scarcely considered. Beaton pro- 
duced a will, said to have been fraudulently obtained from 
the dying King, appointing him and several of the leading 
nobles bf Scotland, Governors of the kingdom. This 
arrangement was soon set aside, the Earl of Arran was 
appointed Governor (Jan. 3rd, 1543), and Beaton was 
confined in Blackness Castle. 

The Gk)vemor selected John Bough for his chaplain 
and Thomas Williams for his preacher, both ardent 
Beformei& The Acts of the previous reign against heresy 
were modified to the extent that men suspect of heresy 
might enjoy office, and heretics were accorded more 
merciful treatment. Moreover, an Act pf Parliament (March 
l^th, 1543) permitted the possession and reading of a 
good and true translation of the Old and New Testament& 
But the masterful policy of Henry viii. and the weakness 
of the Governor brought about a change. Beaton was 
released from Blackness and restored to his own Castle of 
St Andrews; the Governor dismissed his Beformed 
preachers; the Privy Council (June 2nd, 1543) forbade 
on pain pf . death and confiscation of goods all criticism of 
the mediaeval doctrine of the Sacraments, and forbade the 
possession of heretical books. In September, Arran and 
Beaton were reconciled; in December, the Parliament 
annulled the treaties with England consenting to a marriage 
between Edward and Mary, and the ancient league with 
France was renewed. This was followed by the revival of 
persecution, and almost all that had been gained was lost. 
Henry's ruthless devastation of the Borders did not mend 
matters. The more enlightened policy of Lord Protector 
' Somerset could not allay the suspicions of the Scottish 
nation. Their " little Queen " was sent to France to be 
educated by the Guises, " to the end that in hir youth she 
should drynk of that lycour, that should remane with hir 
all hir lyf etyme, for a plague to this realme, and for hir 
finall destructioun." ^ 

1 The W&rk$ qf John Zn&x, edttected and edited by David Laing 
(Edinburgh, 1846-d4), L 218. 


But if the Reformation movement was losing ground 
as a national policy, it was gaining strength as a spiritual 
quickening in the hearts of the people. George Wishart. 
one of the Wisharts of Pittarrow, who had fled from persecu- 
tion in 1538 and had wandered in England, Germany, and 
Switzerland, returned to his native country about 1543, 
consumed with the desire to bear witness for the (xospeL 
He preached in Montrose, and Dundee during a visita- 
tion of the plague, and Ayrshira Beaton's party were 
anxious to secure him, and after a preaching tour in the 
Lothians he was seized in Ormiston House and handed over 
to the Earl of Both well, T^ho, breaking pledges he had 
made, delivered him to the Cardinal ; he lodged him in the 
dungf9on at St Andrews (end of Jan. 1546), and had him 
tried in the cathedral, when he was condemned to the stake 
(March 1st, 1546). 

Wishart was Knox's forerunner, and during this tour 
in the Lothians, Knox had been his constant companion. 
The Komanist party had tried to assassinate the bold 
preacher, and Knox carried a two-handed sword ready 
to cut down anyone who attempted to strike at the 
missionary while he was speaking. All the tenderness 
which lay beneath the sternness of Knox's character appears 
in the account he gives of Wishart in his History. And to 
Wishart, Knox was the beloved discipla When he fore- 
saw that the end was near, he refused to allow Knox to 
share his danger.^ 

Assassination was a not infrequent way of getting rid of 
a political opponent in the sixteenth century, and Beaton's 
death had long been planned, not without secret promptings 
from England. Three months after Wishart's martyrdom 
(May 29th, 1546), Norman Lesley and Kirkcaldy of Grange 
at the head of a small band of men broke into the Castle 
of St. Andrews and slew the Oardin^iL They held the 
stronghold, and the castle became a place of refuge for men 
whose lives were threatened by the Government, and who 
sympathised with the English alliance. The Government 

^ The Works of John Knox, etc U 125-46. 


laid siege to the place bat were unable to take it, and their 
troops withdrew. John Bough, who had been Arran's 
Kef ormed chaplain, joined the company, and began to preach 
to the people of St Andrews Knox, who had become a 
marked man, and had thought of taking refuge in Germany, 
was persuaded to enter the castle, and there, sorely against 
his will, he was almost forced to stand forth as a preacher 
of the Word. His first sermon placed him at once in the 
foremost rank of Scottish Beformers, and men began to 
predict that he would share the fate of Wishart. ** Master 
George Wishart spak never so plainelye, and yitt he was 
brunt : evin so will he be." ^ 

Next to nothing is known about the early history of 
John Knox. He came into the world at or near 
Haddington in the year 1615,* but on what day or month 
remains hidden. He sprang from the commons of Scotland, 
and his forebears were followers of the Earls of Bothwell ; 
he was a papal notary, and in priest's orders in 1540 ; he 
was tutor to the sons of the lairds of Ormiston and 
Longniddry in 1545; he accompanied Wishart in 
December and January 1545, 1546 — these are the facts 
known about him before he was called to stand forward as 
a preacher of the Seformation in Scotland. He was. then 
thirty-two — a silent, slow ripening man, with quite a 
talent for keeping himself in the background. 

Knox's work in the castle and town of St. Andrews 
was interrupted by the arrival of a French fleet (July 
1547), which battered the walls with artillery until the 
castle was compelled to surrender. He and all the 
inmates were carried over to France. They had secured 
as terms of surrender that their lives should be spared ; 
that they should be safely transported to France ; and that 
if they could not accept the terms there offered to them 
by the French King, they should be allowed to depart to 

1 Tks WorJaofJohn Knox, eio. i. .192. 

' Dr. Hay Fleming has settled the vexed qnestion of the date ot Knox's 
birth in his article in the Bookman for Sept. 1906, p. 198 ; of. AikencBfum, 
Not. 6th and Deo. 8rd, 1904. 


any country they might select for their sojourn, save 
Scotland. It was not the custom, however, for French 
kings to keep promises made to heretics, and Knox and 
his companions were made galley-slavea For nineteen 
months he had to endure this living death, which for long 
drawn out torture can only be compared with what the 
Christians of the earliest centuries had to suffer when they 
were condemned to the mines. He had to sit chcuned 
with four or six others to the rowing benches, which were 
set at right angles to the side of the ship, without change 
of posture by day, and compelled to sleep, still chained, 
under the benches by night ; exposed to the elements day 
and night alike; enduring the lash of the overseer, who 
paced up and down the gangway which ran between the 
two lines of benches ; feeding on the insufficient meals of 
coarse biscuit and porridge of oil and beans ; chained along 
with the vilest malefactors. The French Papists had 
invented this method of treating all who differed from tb^n 
in religious matters. It could scarcely make Knox the 
more tolerant of French policy or of the French religion. 
He seldom refers to this terrible experience. He dismisses 
it with : 

" How long I continewed prisoneir, what torment I 
susteaned in the galaies, and what war the sobbes of my 
harte, is now no time to receat: This onlie I can nocht 
conceall, which mo than one have hard me say, when the 
body was far absent from Scotland, that my assured houp 
was, in oppin audience, to preache in Sanctandrois befoir I 
depairted this lyeff." ^ 

The prisoners were released from the galleys through 
the instrumentaUty of the English Government in the 
early months of 1549, and Knox reached England by the 
7th of April. It was there that he began .hia real work as 
a preacher of the Reformation. He spent nearly five years 
as minister at Berwick, at Newcastle, and in London. He 
was twice offered preferment — the vacant bishopric of 
Bochester in 1552, and the vicarage of All Hallows in 

A IForks qfJohn Knox, etc L 840. 


Bread St., London, in the beginning of 1553. He refused 
both, and w n a a otnally oummon ed before the Privy Council 
to explain why be would not accept preferment.^ It is 
probable that he had something to do with the production 
of The Book of Common Prayer and Administration of the 
Sacraments and other Bites and Cerernonies in the Church of 
JEfigland, 156!B, commonly called the Second Prayer-Book 
of King Edward vi. The rubric explaining kneeling at the 
partaking of the Holy Supper, or at least one sentence in it, 
is most probably due to his remonstrances or Suggestions.* 
The accession of Mary Tudor to the throne closed his 
career in England ; but he stuck to his work long after his 
companion preachers had aband^aedit He was in London, 
and had the courage to rebuke the rejoicings of the crowd 
at her entry into the capital — a fearless, outspoken man, 
who could always be depended on for doing what no one 
else dared. 

Enox got safely across the Channel, travelled through 
France by ways unknown, and 'reached GenevsL He 
spent some time with Calvin, then went on to ^rich to 
see Bullinger. He appears to have been meditating deeply 
on the condition of -Scotland and England, and propounded 
a set of questions to these divines which show that he was 
trying to formulate for himself the principles he afterwards 
asserted on the rightr of subjects to restrain tyrannical 
sovereigns.' The years 1554-58, with the exception of a 
brief visit to Scotland in the end of 1555, were spent on 
the Continent, but were important for his future work in 
Scotland. They witnessed the troubles in the Frankfort 
congregation of English exiles, where Knox's broad-minded 

^ Galderwood, The Bidcry of the KMs of Scotland (Edinburgh, 1843-49) 

' Lorimer, John Knox and the Church of England (London, 1875), pp. 
98/. The nibrio is to be found in The Two Liturgies toith other Doewments 
9et forth by Authority in the reign of King Edward the Sixth (Cambridge, 
1842), p. 288. The volume is one of the Park^-r Society's publications. 

' The questions wiU be found in the yolumes, Original Letters, published 
by the Parker Society (Cambridge, 1847), p. 746 ; and in The Works of John 
fiMB, eto. lii. 221. 



toleratiou and straightforward action stands in noble 

1^ contrast with the narrow-minded and crooked policy of his 

)' ' > /; opponents. They were the time of his peaceful and happy 

\ /'"• • ministrations among the refugees at Geneya. -They made 

him familiar with the leading Protestants of Thtnce and 

of Switzerland, and taught him the inner politicaLomditian 

: ' of the nations of Europe. They explain Knox's constant 

i ' if and accurate information in later years, when he seemed to 

, ' learn about the doings of continental statesmen as early as 

' . (/vf Cecil, with all the resources of the English Foreign Office 

j behind him. ^bove all, they made him see that, humanly 

speaking, the fiate of the whole Seformation movement .was 

bound up with an alliance between a Protestant England 

and a Protestant Scotland. 

Knox returned to Scotland for a brief visit of about 
ten months (Sept 1555~JuIy 1556). He exhorted those 
who visited him in his lodgings in Edinburgh, and made 
preaching tours, dispensing the Lord's Supper according to 
the Eeformed rite on several occasions. He visited Dun, 
Calder House, Barr, Ayr, Ochiltree, and several other places, 
and was welcomed in the houses of many of the nobility. 
He left for Geneva in July, having found time to marry 
his first wife, Marjory Bowes, — uxor siuwissima, and "a 
wife whose like is not to be found everywhere," ^ Calvin calls 
her, — and having put some additional force into the growing 
Protestantism of his native land. He tells us that most 
part of the gentlemen of the Meams " band thame selfis, 
to the uttermost of thare poweris, to manteane the trew 
preaching of the Evangell of Jesus Christ, as God should 
offer unto thame preacheris and opportunitie " — ^whether 
by word of mouth or in writing, is not certain.* 

In 1557 (Dec. 3rd) the Protestants of Scotland laid 
the foundations of a definite organisation. It took a 

^ Calvin to Knox (April 23rd, 1561) ; Calvin to Goodman (April 23rd, 
1661) ; The Works of John Knox, etc. vL 124, 125 ; of. Calvini Opera 
(Amsterdam, 1667), iz. EpxatdoB et Besponsa, p. 150. 

* The Works t^ John Knox, etc. i. 251 ; D. Hay Fleming, The Story ^ 
ths SeoUisk Covenants in OuUine (Edinburgh, 1004), p. 6. 

"the band subscrived by the lords" 289 

form familiar enough in the civil history of the comitry, 
where the turbulent character of the Scottish barons and 
the weakness of. th6_ central authority led to constant 
confederations to carry out with safety enterprises some- 
times legal and. sometimes outside the law. The con- 
federates promised to assist each other in the work 
proposed, and to defend each other from the consequences 
following. Such agreements were often drafted in l^al 
fashion by public notaries, and made binding by all forms 
of legal security known. The Lords of the Congregation^. 
as they came to be called, followed a prevailing custom 
when they promised — 

** Befoir the Majestic of God and His congregatioun, that 
we (be His grace) shall with all diligence continually apply 
our hole power, substance, and our verray lyves, to 
manteane, sett fordward, and establish the most blessed 
word of God and His Congregatioun ; and shall laubour at 
our possibilitie to have faythfuU Ministeris purely and 
trewlie to minister Christis Evangell and Sacramentes to 
His peopla" * 

This /* Band subscrived by the Lords " was the first 
(if the promise made by the gentlemen of the Meams be 
excepted) of the many Covenants famous in the history 
of the Church of Scotland Beformed.* It was an old 
Scottish usage now impregnated with a new spiritual 
meaning, and become a public promise to God, after Old 
Testament fashion, to be faithful to His word and guidance. 

This important act had immediate consequences. The 
confederated I^rds sent letters to Knox, then at Geneva, 
and to (Mvin, urging the return of the Scottish Beformer 
to his native land. They also passed two notable re- 
solutions : 

** First, It is thought expedient, devised and ordeaned that 
in all parochines of this Bealme the Conmion Prayeris (prob- 

> The WorU rf Jchn Knox, etc. L 273. 

' For the Covenants of the Scottish Choich, cf. D. Hay Fleming, The 
Story i^the SeoUUh CovenarUa in Outline (Edinburgh, 1904). 




ablj the Second Frajer-Book of Edward vl^) be redd owklie 
(weekly) on Sounday, and other festuall dayis, publictlie in 
the Paroche Kirkis, with the Leesonis of the New and Old 
Testament, conforme to the ordour of the Book of Common 
Prayeris : And yf the curattis of the parochynee be qualified 
to cause thame to reid the samyn ; and yf thei be nott, or 
yf thei refuise, that the maist qualified in the parish use 
and read the same. Secoundly, it is thought necessare that 
doctrin» preacheing and interpcetatioun of Scriptures be 
had and used privatlie in Qwyet housis, without great con- 
ventionis of the people tharto, whill afterward that God 
move the Prince to grant publict preacheing be faithful and 
trew ministeris." ^ 

The Earl of Argyle set the example by maintaining 
John Douglas, and making him preach publicly in his 

This conduct evidently alarmed the Queen Mother, 
who had been made Begent in 1554 (April 12th), and 
she attempted to stir the Primate to exercise his powers 
for the repression of heresy. The Archbishop wrote to 
Argyle urging him to dismiss Douglas, apologising at the 
same time for his interference by saying that the Queen 
wondered that he could ''thole" persons with perverted 
doctrine within his diocese. 

Another step in advance was taken some time in 1558, 
when it was resolved to give the CortgregcUion, the whole 
company of those in Scotland who sincerely accepted the 
Evangelical Beformation, " the face of a Church," by the 
creation and recognition of an authority which could 
exercise discipline. A number of elders were chosen 
** by common election," to whom the whole of the brethren 
promised obedience. The lack of a publicly recognised 
ministry was supplied by laymen, who gave themselves 
to the work of exhortation ; and at the h^ of them was 

1 Oecil, writing to Throckmorton in Paris (July 9th, 1559), aays that in 
Scotland " they deliver the parish churches of altars, and receive tbs 
service of the Church of England according to King Edward's book'* 
{Calendar of State Fapen, Elizabethy Foreign, 1668-69, p. 867). 

* The Warhe of John Knox, etc. L 275. 


to be found Erskine of Dun. The first regularly constituted 
Beformed church in Scotland was in the town of Dundee.^ 
The organisation gave the Protestant leaders boldness, 
and, through Sir James Sandilands, they petitioned the 
Begent to permit them to worship publicly according to 
the Beformed fashion, and to reform the wicked lives of 
the clergy. This led to the offer of a compromise, which 
was at once rejected, as it would have compelled the 
Beformed to reverence the Mass, and to approve of prayers 
to the saints. The Queen Mother then permitted public 
worship, save in Leith and Edinburgh. The Lords of 
the Congregation next demanded a suspension of the laws 
which gave the clergy power to try and punish heresy, 
until a General Council, lawfully assembled, should decide 
upon points then debated in religion; and that all 
suspected of heresy should have a fair trial before 
temporal judges."' When the Begent, who gave them 
amyable lookis and good wordes in aboundance," refused 
to allow their petition to come before the Estates, and 
kept it '* close in hir pocket," the Beformers resolved to go 
to Parliament directly with another petition, in which 
they declared that since they had not been able tq 
secure a reformation, they had resolved to follow their 
own consciences in matters of religion; that they would 
defend themselves and all of their way of thinking if 
attacked ; that if tumults arose in consequence, the blame 
was with those who refused a just reformation ; and that 
in forwarding this petition they had nothing in view but 
the reformation of abuses in religion.' 

Knox had been invited by the Earl of Glencaim, the 
Lords Erskine and Lorn, and James Stewart (afterwards 
the Earl of Moray), to return to Scotland in 1557.^ He 
reached Dieppe in October, and found letters awaiting 
him which told him that the times were not ripe. The 

1 Tk$ Warks of John Knox, etc. L 800. * Ibid. eto. L 801-12. 

* Ibid, etc i. 818. 

* The correspondence will be found in The Worh9 of John Knoos, etc i. 
267/1, iv. 251/. 


answer he sent spurred the Beforming lords to constitute 
the Band of December 1557. It was while he was at 
Dieppe, chafing at the news he had received, tl^t be 
composed the violent treatise, entitled The First Blast of 
the Trumpet against the Monstroue Begiment of Women ^ — 
a book which did more to hamper his future than any- 
thing else. The state of things was exasperating to a 
man who longed to be at work in Scotland or England. 
" Bloody " Mary in England was hounding on- her officials 
to bum Knox's co-religionists, and the Eeformation, which 
had made so much progress tmder Edward vi., seemed to 
be entirely overthrown ; while Mary of Guise, the Queen 
Mother and Regent in Scotland, was inciting the unwilling 
Archbishop of St Andrews to make use of his legatine and 
episcopal powers to repress the believers of his native land. 
But as chance would have it, Mary Tudor was dead before 
the pamphlet was widely known, and the Queen whom of 
all others he desired to conciliate was seated on the 
throne of England, and had made William Cecil, the 
staunchest of Protestants, her Secretary of State. She 
could scarcely avoid believing that the Blast was meant 
for her; and, even if not, it was based on such general 
principles that it might prove dangerous to one whose 
throne was still insecure. It is scarcely to be wondered 
at that the Queen never forgave the vehement writer, 
and that the Blast was a continual obstacle to a complete 
understanding between the Scottish Reformer and his 
English allies.' If Knox would never confess publicly to 
queens, whether to Elizabeth Tudor or to Mary Stuart, 
that he had done wrong, he was ready to say to a friend 
whom he loved : 

"My rude vehemencie and inconsidered affirmations, 
which may rather appear to procead from color then of 

zeal and reason, I do not excuse."* 


^ TJu Works qfJohn Knox, etc. iv. 849. 

' Calendar <^ State Papers, Foreign Series, on the JUiign of ElisabeQ^ 
1669-60, pp. 73, 77 ; 1668-69, pp. 806, 810. 
* The Works i^John Knox, etc. y. 6. 



It was the worse for Knox and for Scotland, for the 
reign of women had begun. Charles v., Francis L, and 
Henry viiL had passed away, and the destinies of Europe 
were to be in the hands of Elizabeth, Catherine de' Medici, 
Mary Stuart, and Philip of Spain, the most felinely feminine 
of t^e four. 

Events marched fast in Scotland after Knox returned 
in the early summer of 1559. The Queen Segent and 
the Lords, of the Congregation were facing each other, 
determined on a trial of. strength. Knox reached 
Edinburgh on May 2nd, 1559, and hurried on to Dundee, 
where the Beformed had gathered in some force. They 
had resolved to support their brethren in maintaining public 
worship according to the usages of the Beformed Church, 
and in repressing " idolatrie " in all towns where a 
majority of the inhabitants had declared for the Beformed 
religion. The Begent threw down the gauntlet by sum- 
moning the preachers to appear before her, and by inhibiting 
their preaching. The Lords took it up by resolving that 
they would answer the summons and appear along with 
their preachers. A letter was addressed to the Begent 
(May 6 th, 1559) by "The professouris of Christis Evangell 
in the realme of Scotland." It was an admirable statement 
of the principles of the Scottish Beformation, and may be 
thus summarised : 

" It records the hope, once entertained by the writers, 
that Ood would make her the instrument of setting up and 
maintaining his Word and true worship, of defending his. 
congregation, and of downputting all idolatry, abomination, 
and superstition in the realm ) it expresses their grief on 
learning that she was determined to do the very opposite ; 
it warns her against crossing the bounds of her own ofiBce, 
and usurping a power in Christ's kingdom which did not 
belong to her; it distinguishes clearly between the civil 
jurisdiction and the spiritual; it asks her to recall her 
letters inhibiting God's messengers; it insists that His 
message ought to be received even though the speaker 
should lack the ordinary vocation; it claims that the 
miniBters who had been inhibited were sent by God, and 


were also called according to Scriptural order ; it pointa out 
that her commands must be disobeyed if contrary to Grod's,^ 
and that the enemies were craftily inducing her to com* 
mand unjust things so that the professors, when they dis- 
obeyed, might be condemned for sedition and rebellion ; it 
pled with her to have pity on those who were seeking the 
glory of God and her true obedience ; it declared that, by 
God's help, they would go forward in the way they had 
begun, that they would receive and assist His ministers 
and Word, and that they would never join themselves again 
to the abominations they had forsaken, though all the 
powers on earth should command them to do so ; it conveyed 
their humble submission to her, in all obedience due to her 
in peace, in war, in body, in goods and in lands 1 and it 
closed with the prayer that the eternal God would instruct, 
strengthen, and lead her by His Spirit in the way that was 
acceptable to Him." ^ 

Then began a series of trials of strength in which the 
Regent had generally the better, because she was supplied 
with disciplined troops from France^ which were more than 
a match for the feudal levies of the Lords of the Congrega- 
tion. The uprising of the people against the R^ent and 
the Prelates was characterised, as in France and the 
Low Countries, with an outbreak of iconoclasm which did 
no good to the Protestant causa In the three countries 
the ''raschall multitude" could not be restrained by the 
exhortation of the preachers nor by the commandment 
of the magistrates from destroying "the places of 
idolatria" * 

From the beginning, Knox had seen that the Eeformers 
had small hope of ultimate success unless they were aided' 
from England; and he was encouraged to expect help 
because he knew that the salvation of Pro^tant England 
lay in its support of the Lords of the Congi-egation in 

The years from 1559 to 1567 were the most critical 
in the whole history of the Reformation. .The existence 

^ Tbis sammary has been taken from Dr. Hay Fleming's admirable little 
book, TlU ScattUh Erformalion (Edinburgb, 1904), p. 44. 
* Th€ Works of John Knox, eto. i. 810. 


of the Protestantism of all Europe was involved in the. 
struggle in Scotland ; and for the first and perhaps last 
time in her history the eyes that had the furthest vision, 
whether in Home, for centuries the citadel of medisevalism> 
or in Greneva, the stronghold of Protestantism, were turned 
towards the little backward northern kingdom. They 
watched the birth-throes of a new nation, a British nation 
whiQh was coming into beipg. T^q_ peoples, long heredi- 
tary foes, were coalescing; the Romanists in England re- 
cognised the Scottish Queen as their legitimate sovereign, 
and the Protestants in Scotland looked for aid to their 
brethren in England. The question was : Would the new 
nation accept the Beformed religion, or would the reaction 
triumph? If Knox and the Congregation gained the 
upper hand in Scotland, and if Cecil was able to guide 
England in the way he meant to lead it (and the two men 
were necessary to each other, and knew it), then the Eefor- 
mation was safa If Scotland could be kept for France 
and the Soman Church, and its Bomanist Queen make 
good her claim to the EngUsh throne, then the Beformation 
would be crushed not merely within Great Britain, but in 
Germany and the Low Countries also* So thought the 
politicians, secular jEmd ecclesiastical, in Bome and Geneva, 
in Paris, Madrid, and in London. The European situation 
had been summed up by Cecil : '' The Emperor is aiming 
at the sovereignty of Europe, which he cannot obtain with- 
out the suppression of the Beformed religion, and, unless 
he crushes England, he cannot crush the Beformation." 
In this peril a ' Scotland controjiled by the Guises would 
liave been fatal to the existence of the Beformation. 

In 1559 the odds seemed in favour of reaction, if only 
its supporters were whole-hearted enough to put aside for 
the time national rivalries. The Treaty of Cateau- 
Cambrdsis, concluded scarcely a month before Knox reached 
Scotland (April 1559), had secret clauses which bound 
the Kings of France and Spain to crush the Protestantism 
of Europe, in. terms which made the young Prince of 
Orange, when he learned them, vow silently to devote his 


Ufe to protect Uis fellow-comitrymeii and drive tne ^scum 
of the Spaniards " out of the Ketherlands. Henry IL of 
France, with his Edict of Chateaubriand and his CharnJbre 
ArderUe, with the Duke of Guise and the Cardinal Lorraine 
to counsel him, and Diana of Poitiers to keep him up to 
the mark, was doing his best to exterminate the Protestants 
of France. Dr. Christopher Mundt kept reporting to 
Queen Elizabeth and her Minister the symptoms of a 
general combination against the Protestants of Europe — 
symptoms ranging from a proposed conquest of Denmark 
to the Emperor's forbidding members of his Household to 
attend Protestant services.^ Throckmorton wrote almost 
passionately from Paris urging Cecil to support the Scottish 
Lords of the Congregation ; and even Dr. Mundt in Stzass* 
burg saw that the struggle in Scotland was the most 
important fact in the European situation.^ 

Tet it was difficult for Cecil to send the aid which 
Knox and the Scottish Protestants needed sorely. It 
meant that the sovei'eign of one country aided men of 
another country who were de Jure rebels against their own 
sovereign. It seemed a hazardous policy in the case of 
a Queen like Elizabeth, who was not yet freed from the 
danger arising from rebellious subjects. There was France^ 
with which England had just made peace. Cecil had 
difficulties with Elizabeth. She did not like Calvin him- 
self. She had no sympathy with his theology, which, with 
its mingled sob and hosanna, stirred the hearts of oppressed 
peoples. There was Knox and his Blast, to say nothing 
of his appealing to the commonalty of his country. " God 

' Calendar of State Papers, Foreign Series, of the Seign of Elizaheth, 
1668-69, pp. 245, 259 ; 1669-60, p. 182. The whole of Dr. Mondt's 
correspondence is interesting, and shows that after the Treaty of Gateaa- 
Cambr^s continual iucidents occurred showing that the Romanists were 
regaining the hope of repressing the whole Protestant movement. 

* Ibid. 1669-60, p. 68 : '' All good men hope that England, warned by 
the dangers of others, will take care, by dissimulation and art^ that the 
nation near to itself, whose cause is the same as her own, shall not be 
first deserted and theu overwhelmed " (Dr» Mundt to Cecil, Oct. 29th« 


keep us from each visitations as Knockes hath attempted 
in Scotland ; the people to be orderers of things ! " wrote 
Dr. Parker to Cecil on the 6th of November.^ Yet Cecil 
knew — no man better — tjiat if the Lords of the Congrega- 
tion failed there was little hope for a Protestant England, 
and that Elizabeth's crown and Dr. Parker's mitre depended 
on the victory of Enox. in Scotland. 

He watched the struggle across the border. He had 
made up his mind as early as July 8th, 1559, that assist- 
ance must be given to the Lords of the Congregation *' with 
all fair promises first, next with money, and last with 
arms." * The second htagd of his programme was reached 
in November; and, two days before the Archbishop of 
Canterbury was piously invoking God's help to keep 
Knox's influences out of England, Cecil had resolved to 
send money to Scotland and to entrust its distribution to 
Knox. The memorandum runs: E[!nox to be a counsel 
with the payments, to see that they be employed to the 
common action.' 

The third stage — assistance with arms — came sooner 
than might have been expected. The condition of France 
became more favoarable. Henry n. had died (July 10 th, 
1559), and the Guises ruled France through their niece 
Mary and her sickly devoted husband. But the Bourbon 
Frinced and many of the higher nobles did not take kindly 
to the sudden rise of a family which had been French for 
only two generations, and the easiest way to annoy them 
wa9 to favour publicly or secretly " those of the religion." 
There was unrest in France. " Beat the iron while it is 
hot," Throckmorton wrote from Paris ; " their fair flatter- 
ings and sweet language are only to gain time." ^ Cecil 
struck. He had a sore battle with his royal mistress, but 
he won.* An arrangement was come to between England 

* Calendar of Stale Papers, Foreign Series, of the Rtign of Sliaabeth, 
1669-SO, p. 84. 

* Ihid. 1668-69, p. 866, CecU to Croft] July 8th, 1569. 

» Ibid, 1669-60, p. 79. * Ibid. p. 862. 

* Cf. hiB pathetic letter offering to reaigii. Ibid. p. 186 n. 


and the Lords of the Congr^ption acting on behalf ^ of 
the second person of the realm of Scotland" (Treaty of 
Berwick, May 10th» 1560).^ An English fleet entficed 
the Firth of Forth; an English army beleaguered the 
French troops in Leith Fort ; ' and the end of it was that 
France was obliged to let go its hold on Scotland, and 
never thoroughly recovered it (Treaty of Edinburgh, July 
6th, 1£60).^ The great majority of the Scottish people 
saw in the English victory only their ' deliverance from 
French tyranny, and for the first time a conquering English 
army left the Scottish soil followed by blessings and not 
curse& The Scottish Liturgy, which had contained 
Prayers used in the Churches of Scotland in the time of their 
persecution by the Frenchmen^ was enriched by a Thanksgiving 
unto Ood after our deliverance from the tyranny of the 
Frenchmen ; vrith prayers made for the continuance of the 
peace betunxt the realms of England and Scotland, which 
contained the following petition : 

''And seeing that when we by our owne power were 
altogether unable to have freed ourselves from the tyranny 
of strangers, and from the bondage and thraldome pretended 
against us, Thou of thyne especial goodnes didst move the 
hearts of our neighbours (of whom we deserved no such 
favour) to take upon them the common burthen with us, 
and for our deliverance not only to spend the lives of many, 
but also to faazarde the estate and tranquillity of their 
Eealme and commonwealth : Grant unto us, Lord, that 
with such reverence we may remember thy benefits received 
that after this in our defaute we never enter into hostilitie 
against the Eealme and nation of England"* 

The Eegent had died during the course of the 
hostilities, and Cecil, following and improving upon the 

^ The Duke of Ch&teUerault (Earl of Amu) was next in suocession after 
Mary and her offspring ; of. a curions note on him and his doings, ibid. 
p. 24 n. For the Treaty, of. Calendar of State Papen relating to Scotland 
and Mary Queen of Scots, i. 403, and The Works of Jchn Knoz^ etc. ii. 45 ff, 

* Calendar of StaU Papers, Foreign Series, q/* the Mgn <f Elizabetk- 
1660-61, pp. 172-78. 

* The Works qf John Knox, eta vL 800, 818, 814. 


wise policy of Frdtector Somerset, left it entirdy to the 
Scots to settle their own affaira^ 

Now or never was the opportunity for Knox and the 
Lords of the Clongregation. They had not been idle during 
the months since Knox had arrived in Scotland. They 
had strengthened. the ties uniting them by three additional 
Bands. At a meeting of the Congregation of the West 
with the Congregations of Fife, Perth, Dundee, Angus, 
Meams, and Montrose, held in Perth (May 31st, 1559), 
they had covenanted to spare neither 

** labouris, goodis, substancis, bodjds, and lives, in mantean- 
ing the libertie of the haill Congregatioun and everie member 
thairof, aganis whatsomevir power that shall intend trubill 
for the cans of religion."* 

They bad renewed this Band in Edinburgh on July 
13th ; and at Stirling (Aug. 1st) they had covenanted, 

''that nane of us sail in tymeis cuming pas to the 
Quenis Grace Dowriare, to talk or commun with hir for 
any letter without consent of the rest and commbne 

They had the bitter satisfaction of knowing that 
although the French troops and officers of the Begent 
were too strong for them in the field, the insolence and 
rapine of these foreigners was rousing all ranks and classes 
in Scotland to see that their only deliverance lay in the 
English alliance and the triumph of the Beformation. The 
Baudot 1560 (April 27th) included, with "the nobilitie, 
barronis, and gentilmen professing Chryst Jesus in Scot- 
land • . • dyveris utheris that joyint with us, for expelling 
of the French army : amangis quham the Erie of Huntlie 
was principalL" * 

The Estates or Parliament met in Edinburgh on 

* "ICatten of religion to be pasted over in aileoce " {Calendar of State 
Venpere^ eto. p. 178). 

* The Wdrke qfJchn Knox, etc. L 844. 

^IkULlWSL «/&u2. ii. ei. 


July 10th, 1560. Neither the French nor the English 
soldiers had left; so they adjourned to August 1st, and 
again to the 8th.^ 

Meanwhile Enox and the Congregation were busy. 
The Reformer excelled himself in the pulpit of St. Giles', 
lecturing daily on the Book of the Prophet Haggai (on 
the building of the Temple) — ** a doctrine proper for the 
tima"' Bandolph wrote to Cecil, Aug. 15th: ' 

''Sermons are daylie, and greate audience; though dyvers 
of the nobles present ar not resolved in religion, yet do 
thei repayre to the prechynges, which gevethe a good hope 
to maynie that Ood wyll bo we their hartes."' 

The Congregation held a great thanksgiving service 
in St Giles'; and after it arranged for eight fully con- 
stituted churches, and appointed five superintendents in 
matters of religion.^ They also prepared a petition for 
Parliament asking for a settlement of the religious (question 
in the way they desired.^ At the request of the Estates, 
or Parliament, Enox and five companions prepared The 
Confessioun of Faith pro/essit and hdevit he the Frotestantis ' 
within the Beaime of Scollcmd, which was ratified and ap- 
proved as " hailsome and sound doctrine, groundit upoun 
the infallible trewth of Godis Word." It was afterwards 
issued by the Estates as the " summe of that doctrin quhilk 
we professe, and for the quhilk we haif sustenit infamy and 
daingear."^ Seven days later (Aug. 24th), the Estates 
decreed that *^ the Bischope of Bome have na jurisdictiouu 
nor authoritie in this R€»ELlme in tymes cuming"; they 

^ Gf. Calendar qf Stale Papen rdaUng to Scotland and Mary Queen ^ 
Seote, I 466-62. 

» The Works of John Knox^ etc. ii. 88. 

' Calendar of State Papers relating to Scotland and Mary Queen of Scots, 
i. 461. 

« SpottiBWOode, ffistory qf the Church of Scotland (Edinburgh, lBi7\ L 

* The Works of John Knox^ etc. ii. 89. 

* Ihid. '± 96 ; (Dunlop's) Collection ^ Coirfessions tf FaiO^ etei 
(Edinburgh, 1722} ii 17, 18. 


nimnlled all Acts of previous Parliaments which were con« 
irary to the Confession of Faith ; and they forbade the 
saying, hearing, or being present at Mass, under penalty of 
confiscation of goods and bodily punishment at the dis- 
cretion of the magistrates for the first offence, of banish- 
ment for the second, and of death for the third.^ These 
severe penalties, however, were by no means rigidly enforced. 
Lesley (Soman Catholic Bishop of Boss) says in his 

'* The clemency of the heretic nobles must not be left 
unmentioned, since at that time they exiled few Catholic 
on the score of religion, imprisoned fewer, and put none to 

One thing still required to be done — to draft a 
constitution for the new Protestant Church. The work 
was committed to the same ministers who had compiled 
the Confession. They had been asked to prepare it as 
early as April 29th, and they had it ready for the 
Lords of the Congregation within a month. It was not 
approved by the Estates; but was ordered to be sub- 
mitted to the next general meeting, and was meanwhile 
translated into Latin, to be sent, to Calvin, Yiret, cmd Beza 
in Geneva.' The delay seemed to some to arise from the 
unwillingness of many of the lords to see '' their carnal 
liberty and worldly commoditie impaired " ; * but another 
cause was also at work. Cecil evidently wished that 
the Church in Scotland should be uniform with the Church 
in England, and had instructed Bandolph to press this 
question of uniformity. It was a favourite idea with 
statesmen of both countries — ^pressed on Scotland by 
England during the reigns of James L and Charles L, and 
by Scotland on England in the Solemn League and 

1 AeL Pari. Seoi. iL 626-86. 

'Lesley, De Rebus Oedis Scotorum (Bannatyne Club, Edinburgh », 
p. 687. 

* Calendar <if State Papers rskUing to Scotla/nd and Mary Queet^ <f S«oU^ 
L 472, in a letter from Randolph to Cecil of Ang. 26th. 

^ TKt Works of Jdkn Knox, etc iL 128. 



Covenant Bandolph was wise enough to see that such 
uniformity was an impossibility.^ 

The Confession of the Faith and Doctrine, Believed and 
Ptofessed by the Protestants of Scotland, was translated into 
Latin, and, under the title Confessio Scotieana, occupies an 
honoured place in the collections of the creeds of the 
Reformed Churches. It remained the symbol of the 
Church of Scotland during the first stormy century of its 
existence. It was displaced by the Westminster Con- 
fession in 1647» only on the understanding that the lateir 
document was " in nothing contrary " to the former ; and 
continued authoritative long after that date.' Drawn up 
in haste by a small number of theologians, it is more 
sympathetic and human than most creeds, and has com- 
mended itself to many who object to the impersonal logic 
of the Westminster Confession.' The first sentence of the 
preface gives the tone to the whole : 

'* Lang have we thirsted, dear Brethren, to have notified 
to the Warld the Sum of that Doctrine quhilk we professe, 
and for quhilk we have susteined Infamie and Danger ; Bot 
sik has bene the Rage of Sathane againis us, ana againis 
Christ Jesus his eternal Yeritie latlie now againe bom 
amangst us, that to this daie na Time has been giraunted 
unto us to cleir our Consciences as maist gladlie we wald 
have done."* 

The preface also puts more clearly than any similiar 
document save the First Confession of Basel the reverence 

^ Calendar qf SlcUe Papen relating to Scotland and Mary Queen if SocUy 
L 471, 472. 

* The SeoU Gonfessioii is to be fonnd in (Dunlop's) Colleetion tf Corrfeesiom 
qfFaithf Catechisms, Directories, Books qf Discipline, etc,, qf Pvhlic Authority 
in the ChurOi qf Scotland (Edinburgh, 1722), ii. 13/., where the Scots and 
the Latin venions are printed in parallel columns ; in SchaflTs Creeds if the 
JSvangelieal Protestant Churches (London, 1877), pp. 437/. ;-fiui the Latin 
version alone in Niemeyer, Colleetio Con/essionum in Ecelesiis JRefomuUis 
publieatarum (Leipzig, 1840), pp. 340/ For a statement of its characteristics, 
cf. Mitchell, The ScoUish Ite/ormation (Baird Lecture for 1899, £dinbtiigh- 
1900), pp. 99/. 

* As Edward Irving, of. Colleeted Writings (London, 1864), L 601/ 
^ (Dunlop's) Collection qf Cvnfemoms, etc pp. 16-18, 


felt by the early Beformers for the Word of God and the 
renmiciation of any daun to infallibility of interpreta-> 

"Protestand that gif onie man will note in this our 
confessionn onie ArticMe repugnand to Gods halie word, 
that it wald pleis him of his gentleness and for christian 
charities sake to admonish us of the same in writing ; and we 
upon our honoures and fidelitie, be Gods grace do promise 
unto him satisfaction fra the mouth of God, that is fra his 
haly scriptures, or else reformation of that quhilk he sal 
prove to be amisse.** 

The Confession itself contains the truths common to 
the Beformed creeds of the Beformation. It contains all 
the (Ecumenical doctrines, as they have been called — that 
is, the truths taught in the early (Ecumenical Councils, 
and embodied in the Apostles' and Nicene Creeds; and 
adds those doctrines of grace, of pardon, and of enlighten- 
ment through Word and Spirit which were brought into 
special prominence by the Beformation revival of religion. 
The Confession is more remarkable for quaint suggestive- 
ness of titles than for any special peculiarity of doctrine. 
Thus the doctrine of revelation is defined by itself, apart 
from the doctrine of Scripture, under the title of ** The 
Bevelation of the Promise." Election is treated according 
to the view of earlier Calvinism as a means of grace, and 
an evidence of the " invincible power " of the Godhead in 
salvation. The " notes by which the true Kirk is discerned 
from the false " are said to be the true preaching of the 
Word of God, the right administration of the sacraments, 
and ecclesiastical discipline rightly administered. The 
authority of Scriptures is said to come from God, and to 
depend neither ''on man nor angels"; and the Church 
knows them to be true, because " the true kirk always 
heareth and obeyeth the voice of her own spouse and 

Bandolph says in a letter to Cecil (September 7th, 
1560) that before the Confession was publicly read it was 
revised by Lethington and Lord James Stewart, who '* dyd 


mytigate the austeritie of maynie wordes and sentences," 
and that a certain article which dealt with the '' dysobediens 
that subjects owe unto their magistrates " was advised to 
be left out.^ Thus amended it was read over, and then 
re-read article by article in the Estates, and passed 
without alteration,* — "no man present gainsaying."* 
When it was read before the Estates : 

<* Maynie oflTered to sheede ther blude in defence of the 
same. The old Lord of Lynsay, as grave and goodly a man 
as ever I sawe, said, ' I have ly ved maynie yeres, I am the 
eldest in thys Compagnie of my sorte ; nowe that y t hathe 
pleased God to lett me see thys daye wher so maynie nobles 
and other have allowed so worthie a work, I wUl say with 
Simion, Nutic dimittis/ " * 

A copy was sent to Cecil, and Maitland of Lethington 
assured him that if there was anything in the Confession of 
Faith which the English Minister misliked, ** It may 
eyther be changed (if the mater so permit) or at least in 
some thyng qualifieed " ; which shows the anxiety of the 
Scots to keep step with their English allies.' 

The authors of the Confession were asked to draw ^ 
up a short statement showii^ how a Beformed Chusoh— 
could best be governed. The result was the remark- 
able document which was afterwards called the Urst 
Book of Discipline, or tJie Policie and Discipline of the 
Church.^ It provided for the government of the Church 
by kirk-sessions, synods, and general ^ a s sembli es ; and 
recognised as office-bearers in the Church, miaiateia*^ 
teachers, elders, deacons, superintendents, and readers. 

* Calendar of State Papers relating to Scotland and Mary Queen qf Scoto^ 
i. 477, 478. 

* The Works of John Knox, etc. it 121. 

s Calendar <^ State Papers, eta i. 405, Maitland to CecU (August 

« Ihid, L 467, Romddph to CecU (August 1 9th). 

* Ibid, L 479, Maitland to CeeU (September 18th). 

' For a description of the First Book of Dieeipline, of. Mitchell, The 
Scottish Brformaiion, etc pp. 144 jf. The document itself is to be found in 
(Dunlop's) ColUdiffn of Confessums, etc. ii 515 jf. 


The authors of this Book of Discipline professed to go 
directly to Scripture for the outlines of the system of 
Church government which they advised their countrymen 
to adopt, and their profession was undoubtedly sincere and 
likewise just. They were, however, all of them men 
in sympathy with Calvin, and had had personal 
intercourse with the Protestants of Franca Their form 
of government is clearly inspired by Calvin's ideas as 
stated in his InstittUion, and follows closely the Ecclesi- 
astical Ordinances of the French Church. The ofBces of 
superintendent and reader were added to the usual three- 
fold or fourfold Presbyterian form of government. The 
former was due to the unsettled state of the country 
and the scarcity of Protestant pastors. The Super- 
ifUenderUs took charge of districts corresponding not 
very exactly with the Episcopal dioceses, and were ordered 
to make annual reports to the General Assembly of the 
ecclesiastical and religious state of their provinces, and 
to preach in the various churches in their district. The 
Headers owed their existence to the small nimiber of Pro- 
testant pastors, to the great importance attached by the 
early Scottish Reformers to an educated ministry, and also 
to the difficulty of procuring funds for the support of 
pastors in every parish. They were of two classes — ^those 
of a higher grade, who were permitted to deliver addresses 
and who were called Exhorters] and those of the lower 
grade, whose duty it was to read "distinctly" the Common 
Prayers and the Scriptures. Both classes were expected 
to teach the younger children. ExJiorters who studied 
theology diligently and satiBjBed the synod of their learning 
could rise to be ministers. The Book of Discipline contains 
a chapter on the patrimony of the Church which urges the 
necessity of preserving monies possessed by the Church 
for the maintenance of religion, the support of education, 
and the help of the poor. The presence of this chapter 
prevented the book being accepted by the Estates in the 
same way as the Confession of Faith. The barons, greater 
and lesser, who sat there, had in tpo many cases appropriated 


the ^patrimonj of the Kirk" to their own priyate nses, 
and were unwilling to sign a document which condemned 
their conduct The Book of Discipline approved by the 
Greneral Assembly, and signed by a large number of the 
nobles and burgesses, never received the legal sanction 
accorded to the Confession. 

The General Assembly of the Beformed Church of 
Scotland met for the first time in 1560; and thereafter, 
in spite of the struggle in which the Church was involved, 
meetings were held generally twice a year, sometimes oftener, 
and the Church was organised for active work. 

A third book, variously called Tht Book of Common 
Order^ The Order of Greneva, and now frequently Knoafs 
Liturgy, was a directory for the public worship and 
services of the Church. It was usually bound up with 
a metrical version of the Psalms, and is often spoken of 
as the Psaim Book, 

Calvin's Catechism was translated and ordered to be 
used for the instruction of the youth in the faith. Later, 
the Heidelberg Catechism was translated and annotated for 
the same purpose. They were both superseded by Craig's 
Catechism, which in its turn gave way to the Larger and 
Shorter Catechisms of the Westminster Divines.* 

The democratic ideas of Presbyterianism, enforced by 
the practical necessity of trusting in the people, made 
the Scotch Beformers pay great attention to education. 
All the leaders of the Beformation, whether in Germany, 
France, or Holland, had felt the importance of enlighten* 
ing the commonalty; but perhaps Scotland and Holland 
were the two countries where the attempt was most 
successful The education of the people was no new 
thing in Scotland; and although in the troublous times 
before and during the Beformation high schools had 

* For the Book of Comtnon Order, cf. Mitchell's SootHA BeformaHon, 
pp. 188/. The Book itself is to be foand in (Dunlop's) GolUeHon <^ 
Co^festiona, ii. 888jf. It has been published with learned preface and notes 
bj Sprott and Leishman (Edinburgh, 1968). 

' Bonar's CaleehUma qf the SeoUUh Be/ormaUon (London, 1866) $ 
(Dunlop's) CoUedion (^ Confestione, etc ii. 189-882. 


disappeared and the Universities had decayed, still the 
craving for learning had not altogether died out. Knox 
and his friend George Buchanan had a magnificent 
scheme of endowing schools in every parish, high 
schools or colleges in all important towns, and of in- 
creasing the power and iniiuence of the Universities. 
Their scheme, owing to the greed of the Barons, who had 
seized the Church property, was little more than a devout 
imagination ; but it laid hold on the mind of Scotland, and 
the lack of endowments was more than compensated by 
the craving of the people for education. The three 
Universities of St. Andrews, Glasgow, and Aberdeen took 
new life, and a fourth, the University of Edinburgh, was 
founded. Scotch students who had been trained in the 
continental schools of learning, and who had embraced 
the Beformed faith, were employed to superintend the 
newly-organised educational system of the country, and 
the whole organisation was brought into sympathy with 
the everyday life of the people by the preference given 
to day schools over boarding schools, and by a system of 
inspection by the most pious and learned men in each 
circle of parishes. Knox also was prepared to order 
compulsory attendance at school on the part, of two 
classes of society, the upper and the lower — the middle 
class he thought might be trusted to its own natural 
desire for learning; and he wished to see the State so 
exercise power and patronage as to lay hold on all youths 
"of parts*' and compel them to proceed to the high 
schools and Universities, that the commonwealth might 
get the greatest good of their service. 

The form of Church government given in the First 
Book of Discipline represented rather an outline requiring 
to be filled in than a picture of what actually existed for 
many a year after 1560. It provided for a form of 
Church government by ecclesiastical councils rising from 
the Session of the individual congregation up to a 
National Assembly, and its first requisite was a fully 
organised church in every parish ruled by a minister 


with his Session or council of Elders and his body of 
Deacon& But there was a great lack of men having the 
necessary amount of education to be ordained as ministers, 
and consequently there were few fully equipped con- 
gregations. The first court in existence was the Kirk- 
Session ; it was in being in every organised congregation. 
The second in order of time was the General Assembly. 
Its first meeting was in Edinburgh, Dec 20th, 1560. 
Forfcy-two members were present, of whom only six were 
ministers. These were the small b^innings from which 
it grew. The Synods came into existence later. At first 
they were yearly gatherings of the ministry of the 
Superintendent's district, to which each congregation 
within the district was asked to send an Elder and a 
Deacon. The Court of the Presbytery came latest into 
existence ; it had its beginnings in the " weekly exercise." 

The work had been rapidly done. Barely a year 
had elapsed between the return of Knox to Scotland and 
the establishment of the Reformed religion by the Estates. 
Calvin wrote from Geneva (Nov. 8th, 1559): 

'' As we wonder at success incredible in so short a time, 
so also we give great thanks to God, whose special blessing 
here shines forth." 

And Knox himself, writing from the midst of the 
battle, says : ^ 

" We doe nothing but goe about Jericho, blowing with 
trumpets, as God giveth strength, hoping victorie by his 
power alone." • 

But dangers had been imminent ; shot at through 
his window, deadly ambushes set, and the man's powers 
taxed almost beyond endurance : 

" In twenty-four houre I have not four free to natural! 
rest and ease of this wicked carcass ... I have nead of a 

< The IForks of John Knox, eto. vi. 96. 

* Jbid, vi. 78, Knox to Mn, Anna Locke (Sept 2iid, 1669). 


good and an assured horse, for great watch is laid for my 
apprehension, and large money promissed till any that shall 
kyU ma" ^ 

If the victory had been won, it was not secured. The 
sovereigBS Mary and Francis had refused to ratify the 
Acts of their Estates; and it was not until Mary was 
deposed in 1567 that the Acts of the Estates of 1560 
were l^ally placed on the Statute Book of Scotland. 
Francis IL died in 1560 (Dec. 5th), and Mary the 
young and widowed Queen returned to her native land 
(Aug. 19th, 1561). Her coming was looked forward to 
witii dread by tiie party of the Seformation. 

There was abundant reason for alarm. Mary was 
the Stuart Queep; she represented France, the old 
hereditary ally; she had been trained from childhood by a 
consummate politician and deadly enemy of the Beforma- 
tion, her uncle the Cardinal of Lorraine, to be his 
instrument to win back Scotland and England to the 
deadliest type of Bomanism. She was a lovely creature, 
and was, besides, gifted with a power of personal fascination 
greater than her physical charms, and such as no other 
woman of her time possessed ; she had a sweet caressing 
voice, beautiful hands; and not least, she had a gift 
of tears at command. She had been brought up at a 
Ck)urt where women were taught to use all such charms 
to win men for political ends. The Escadron volant de la 
Heine had not come into existence when Mary left 
France, but its recruits were ready, and some of them 
had been her companions She had made it clearly 
understooji that she meant to overthrow the Eeformation 
in Scotland.' Her unscrupulous character was already 
known to' Knox and the other Protestant leaders. 
Nine days before her marriage she had signed deeds 
guaranteeing the ancient liberties and independence of 

^ The fFork$ itf JfUvn Knox, vi 88, Knox to Gregory RaUUm (Oct. 
2did, 1569). 

* Caiendar of State Papon reiUOing to Scotland and Mary Qveen of Scots, 
L 607, 686. 


Scotland; six days after her marriage she and her 
husband had appended their signatures to the same 
deeds; but twenty days before her wedding she had 
secretly signed away these very liberties, and had made 
Scotland a mere appanage of France.^ They suspected 
that the party in France whose figure-head she was, 
would stick at no crime to carry out their designs, and 
had shown what they were ready to do by poisoning 
four of the Scotch Commissioners sent to Paris for their 
young Queen's wedding, because they refused to allow 
Francis to be immediately crowned King of Scotland' 
They knew how apt a pupil she had already shoWn 
herself in their school, when she led her boy husband 
and her ladies for a walk round the Castle of Amboise, to 
see the bodies of dozens of Protestants hung from lintels 
and turrets, and to contemplate " the fair clusters of 
grapes which the grey stones had produced" ' 

It was scarcely wonderful that Lord James, Morton, 
and Lethington, were it not for obedience' sake, ** cared not 
thoughe theie never saw her face," and felt that there 
was no safety for them but in Elizabeth's protection. 
As for Knox, we are told : " Mr. Knox is determined to 
abide the uttermost, and others will not leave him till 
God have taken his life and theirs together."^ What 
use might she not make of these fascinations of hers on 
the vain, turbulent nobles of Scotland 7 Is it too much 
to say that but for the passionate womanly impulse — so 
like a Stuart* — which made her fling herself first into 
the arms of Damley and then of Bothwell, and but for 

> Hay Fleming, Mary Queen df Scote (London, 1897), pp. 28, 24, and 
210, 211. 

• ibid, pp. 26, 212. 

* Mari^jol, HUioire de France depute lee Originee juequ'd^ la Revolution^ 
VI. i. 18 (Paris, 1904). 

^ Calendar of State Papere relating to Scotland and Mary Queen qfScotB, 
i. 64& 

* " Das Leben geliebt nnd die Krone gekttsst, 
Und den Frauen das Herz gegeben, 
Und znletzt einen Knn auf das blnt'ge Geriist — 
Das ist ein Stoartleben." 


Knox, she might have succeeded in re-establishing Popery 
in Scotland and in reducing Protestant England ? 

Cecil himself was not without his fears, and urged the 
Protestants in Scotland to stand firm. Sandolph's answer 
shows how much he trusted Knox's tenacity, however much 
he might sometimes deprecate his violence : 

''Where your honour exhortethe us to stowteness, I 
assure you the voyce of one man is hable in one hower to 
put more lyf in us than five hundred tjrompettes contynu- 
ally blusteringe in our eares." ^ 

He was able to write after Mary's arrival: 

''She (Mary) was four days without Mass; the next 
Sunday after arrival she had it said in her chapel by a 
French priest. There were at it besides her uncles and her 
own Household, the Earle of Montrose, Lord Oraham . . . 
the rest were at Mr. Knox sermon, as great a number as 
ever was any day."* 

Mary's advisers, her uncles, knew how dangerous the 
state of Scotland waa for their designs, and counselled her 
to temporise and gradually win over the leading Reforming 
nobles to her side. The young Queen entered on her 
task with some zest. She insisted on having Mass for her 
own household ; but she would maintain, she promised, the 
laws which had made the Mass illegal in Scotland ; and it 
says a great deal for her powers of fascination and dissimu- 
lation that there was scarcely one of the Reforming nobles 
that she did not win over to believe in her sincerity at one 
time or another, and that even the sagacious Randolph 
seemed for a time to credit that she meant what she said.' 
Knox alone in Scotland read her character and paid unwill- 
ing tribute to her abilities from his first interview with her.^ 

* CaUndar qf State Paper* relating to Scotland ami Mary Queen of Scots, 
L 651. 

«iWd. i 547. 

' That is the idipreasion which his letters give me. Cf. Calendar, eto. 
pp. 665-609. 

^ " If there be not in her a proad mind, a crafty wit, and an indurate nean 


He saw that she had been thoroughly trained by het 
undes, and especially by the Cardinal of Lorraine, and that 
it was hopless to expect anything Uke fair dealing from 

'* In verry dead Mr hole proceadings do declayr that the 
Cardinalles lessons ar so deaplie prented in hir heart, that 
the substance and the qualitie ar Uek to perische together. 
I wold be glaid to be deceaved, but I fear I shall not In 
communication with her, I espyed such craft as I have not 
found in such aiga" ^ 

Maitland of Lethington thought other¥risa Writing to 
CecU (Oct. 25th, 1561) he says: 

" You know the vehemency of Mr. Knox spreit, which 
cannot be brydled. ... I wold wishe he shold deale with 
j^er more gently, being a young princess unpersuaded." * 

It was thought that Mary might be led to adopt the 
Beformation if she were only tenderly guided. When 
Mary's private correspondence is read, when the secret 
knowledge which her co-religionists abroad had of her designs 
is studied and known, it can be seen how true was Knox's 
reading of her character and of her intentional He stood 
firm, almost alone at times among the leading men, but 
faithfully supported by the commons of Scotland.^ 

Then began the struggle between the fascinating Queen, 
Mary Stuart, one of the fairest flowers of the French 
Renaissance, and the unbending preacher, trained iaJiie 
sternest school of the Beformation movement — a stru^le 
which was so picturesque, in which the two opponents had 
each such strongly marked individuality, and in which the 

against God and Hia trath, my judgment faUeth me'* {The WcrH <if Joktk 
Knox, etc. ii. 286). 

^ The fFarki qf John Knox, etc. vi. 182, LeUer/rom Knox to CecU (Dot 
7th, 1661). 

' Calendar qf Stale Papers relaiiTig to Scotland and Mary Queen of Seota^ 
i. 565. 

' For summary of evidence, of. Hay Fleming, Mary Queen ^ Scots, pp. 

* For Bummaxy of evidence, cl Hay Fleming, Mary Queen <f Scott, ppu 
51-58, 268. 


acceesorieB were so dramatic, that the spectator insensibly 
becomes absorbed in the personal side of the conflict, and 
is tempted to forget that it was part of a Bevolution which 
was convulsing the whole of middle and western Europa 

A good deal has been written about the rudeness with 
which Knox assailed Mary in public and in private, and 
his conversations with her are continually referred to but 
seldom quoted in fulL It is forgotten that it was Mary 
who wished to try her gifts of fascination on the preacher, 
just as Catherine de' Medici tried to charm de B^ze before 
Poissy ; that Knox never sought an interview ; that he 
never approached the Court unless he was summoned by 
the sovereign to her presence ; that he was deferential as a 
subject should be ; and it was only when he was compelled 
by Mary herself to speak on themes for which he was ready 
to lay down his life that he displayed a sternness whiAi 
monarchs seldom experience in those to whom they give 
audience. What makes these interviews stand forth in 
history is that they exhibit the first clash of autocratic 
kingship and the hitherto unknown power of the people. 
It was an age in which sovereigns were everywhere gaining 
despotic power, when the might of feudal barons was being 
broken, when the commonalty was dumb. A young Queen, 
whose training from childhood had stamped indelibly on 
her character that kingship meant the possession of un- 
limited autocratic privileges before which everything must 
give way, who had seen that none in France had dared 
dispute the will of her sickly, dull boy-husband simply 
because he was King, was suddenly confronted by something 
above and beyond her comprehension : 

" * What have ye to do,' said sche, * with my manage ? 
Or what ar ye within this Commounwealth V 'A subject 
borne loithin the same* said he, * Madam. And albeit I neather 
be Erie, Lord, nor Barroun within it, yitt hes God maid me 
(how abject that over I be in your eyes) a profitable member 
within the same.' " ^ 

> Ths Works of John Kmx, etc. ii 888. 


Modem democracj came into being in that answer. It is 
curions to see how this conflict between autocratic power 
and the civil and religious rights of the people runs through 
all the interviews between Mary and Knox, and was, in 
truth, the question of questions between them.^ 

It is unnecessary to tell the story of the seven years 
of struggle between 1560 and 1567. In the end, Mary 
was imprisoned in Lochleven Castle, deposed, and her 
infant son, James Yh, was placed on the throna Lord 
James Stewart, Earl of Moray, was made Bq[ent. The 
Estates or Parliament again voted the Confession of Faith, 
and engrossed it in their Acts. The B^ent, acting for the 
sovereign, signed the Acts. The Confession thus became 
part of the law of the land, and the Reformed Church was 

legally recognised in Sootland. 


1 Aooounts of the five interviews ire to be found in Th$ Workt i(f Jbhm 
Knox, eto. iL 281/., 881/., 871/., 887/., 408/. 





The Church and people of England broke away from the 
mediffival papal ecclesiastical system in a manner so 
exceptional, that the rupture had not very much in 

'Souftois: Lflemmer, McntMierUa VaZicana histonam eedesicutieam 
doevdi 16 Ulustramtia (Freiburg, 18j31); Letters and Papers, Foreign and 
ZhmaHo, o/theBeigno/ffenry VIII, (19yol8., LondoD, 1860-1908) ; Calendar 
oj Venetian State Papers, ISSO^Se, U27^S, 1634-64, 1555-66, 1667-68, 1558- 
SO ; Calendar {^Spanish State Papers (London, 1886) ; Fumivall, Ballads from 
Jtfa«iuwri|i<«( Ballad Society, London, 1868-72) ; Gee and Hardy, Dociimeide 
illustrative qf English Church History (London, 1896) ; ErasinuB, Opera 
Omnia, ed. Le Glero (Leyden, 1708-6) ; Nichols, The Epistles of Erasmus 
from the earliest letters to his' fftg-firet year, arranged in order of time 
(London, 1901-4) ; Pocock, lUcords of the Reformation (Oxford, 1870) ; 
Theiner, Vetera Mowwmenta Sibemorum et Scotorum historiam illustrantia 
(Rome, 1864) ; Wilkins, Concilia; Chronicle qf the Orey Friars of London, 
(Camden Society, London, 1846) ; Holinsbed, Chronicles (London, 1809) ; 
J^ondon Phronide in the times of Benry VII. and Henry VIII. {Camden 
MisceUamy, vol. iv., London, 1359) ; Wright, Suppression of the Mo asteries 
(Camden Society, London, 1848) ; Foxe, Acts and Monuments (London, 
1846) ; Ehsee, JtSmisehe Dokumente tur Oeschichie dee Heinriehs VIII. von 
.England, 15t7-S4 (Paderbom, 1898); Zurich Letters, 2 yoIb. (Parker 
Society, Cambridge, 1846-47) ; Works of Archbishop Crcmmer, 2 yoIb. (Parker 
Society, Cambridge, 1844-46). 

Latxb Books : Dizon, History of the Church of England (London, 1878, 

eta) ; Fronde, History of England (London, 1856-70 ; by no means 

aoperseded, as many would haye us believe) ; Brewer, The Eeign of Henry 

nil. (London, 1884); Gairdper, The English Church in the Sixteenth 



common with the oontemporary movements in France and 
Germany. Henry vm. destroyed the papal supremacy, 
spiritual and temporal, within the land which he governed ; 
he cut the bands which united the Church of England 
with the great Western Church ruled over by the Bishop 
of Home ; he built up what may be called a kingly papacy 
on the ruins of the jurisdiction of the Pope. His starting- 
point was a quarrel with the Pope, who refused to divorce 
him from Catharine of Aragon. 

It would be a mistake, however, to think that Henry's 
eagerness to be divorced from Catharine accounts for the 
English Reformation. No king, however despotic, could 
have forced on such a revolution unless there was much 
in the life of the people that reconciled them to the change^ 
and evidence of this is abundantly forthcoming. 

There was a good deal of heresy, so called, in England 
long before Luther's voice had been heard in Germany. 
Men maintained that the tithes were exactions o( covetous 
priests, and were not sanctioned by the law of Grod ; they 
protested against the hierarchical constitution of the 
mediaeval Church ; they read the Scriptures, and attended 
services in the vernacular; and they scofTed at the 
authority of the Church and attacked some of its doctrines. 
Lollardy had never died out in England, and Lollardy was 
simply the English form of that passive protest against the 
mediaeval Church which under various names had main- 
tained itself in France, Germany, and Bohemia for centuries 
in spite of persecution. Foxe's Acts and Monuments show 
that there was a fairly active repression of so-called heresy 
in England before Luther's days, and his accounts are 
confirmed by the State Papers of the period. In 1511^ 
Andreas Ammonius, the Latin secretary of Henry vm., 
writing to Erasmus, says that wood has grown scarce and 
dear because so much was needed to bum heretics, " and 

{JtfUury (London, 1002) ; Pollard, ffenry VIII. (London, 1905), Thomtu 
Oranmer {Heroes of the RrformcUum Series^ New York and London, 1904) ; 
Stabbs, Sewnteen Leeturee en the Study of MedicewU and Modem Hieiory, 
Lectorw XI. and XIL (Oxford, 1900) ; Cambridge Modern Eittary, ii. ziiL 


yet their numbers grow." Yet Dr. James Gairdner declares 
that only a solitary pair had suffered during that year at 
the stake !^ Early in 1512 the Archbishop of Canterbury 
summoned a meeting of convocation for the express 
purpose of arresting the spread of heresy ; ' in that same year 
Erasmus was told by More that the Epistolce Obscurorum 
Virorum were popular everywhere throughout England ; • 
and a commission was given to the Bishop of Coventry and 
others to inquire about Lollards in Wales and other parts ; ^ 
and as late as 1521 the Bishop of London arrested five 
hundred Lollards.^ In 1530, Henry vm. himself, always 
curious about theology and anxious to know about the books 
which interested his subjects, sent to Oxford for a copy 
of the Articles on which Wiclif had been condemned.^ 
Anyone who scoffed at relics or pilgrimages was thought to 
be a Wiclifite.^ In 1 5 3 1 , divinity students were required to 
take an oath to renounce the doctrines of Wiclif, Hus, and 
Luther;^ and in 1533, More, writing to Erasmus, calls 
Tyndale and his sympathisers Wiclifites.* Henry vni. was 
oigaged as early as 1518 in composing a book against 
heresy and vindicating the claims of the Soman See, which 
in its first inception could scarcely be directed against 
Luther, and probably dealt with the views of home heretics.^® 
Some modem historians are inclined to find a strong 

' LetUn and Paptrt^ Foreign and DomeaHe, qf ths EHgn of Hmry VIll. 
*■ !». 295. There was a sadden rise in the price of wood i^ over Europe 
Aboat thmt date, and it is alleged to be one of the causes why the poorer 
elanes in Germany were obliged to give np the earlier almost uniyersal nse 
of the steam bath. In the fifteenth century, masters gaye their workmen not 
Trinket, but BadgeU. Nichols, The EpisOee o/Hraamtu, i. 40. 

' LeUere and JPapen, eto. L p. 688. 

* Ibid. II. i. 777 : The Oxford bookseller (1520) John Dome had two 
eopies in his stock of books [Oxford HittoriaU Soeiety, Collectanea (Oxford, 
1885), p. 155]. 

^ LeUere and Papere, i. p. 878. 

* Jacobs, The Lutheran Afovement in JSngland, p. 8. 

* Bale, Select Worke, p. 171. 

^ Sraemi CoUoquia (Amsterdam, 1662), Peregrinatio Religionie ergo 
pL 876 ; Fieievita quiepiamt opinor, 
' LeUere and Papere, etc y. p. 140. 

* Ibid, yi. p. 144. » Ibid, ii. ii. p. 1819. 


English revolt against Borne native to the soil and borrow- 
ing little or nothing from Luther, which they believe to 
have been the initial force at work in shaping the English 
Beformation. Mr. Pollard points out that in many 
particulars this Reformation followed the lines laid down 
by Wiclif. Its leaders, like Wiclif, denounced the 
Papal Supremacy on the ground of the political injury it 
did to the English people; declaimed against the sloth, 
immorality, and wealth of the EngUsh ecclesiastics; 
advocated a preaching ministry ; and looked to the secular 
power to restrain the vices and reform the manners of the 
clergy, and to govern the GhurcL He shows that 

"most of the English Beformers were acquainted with 
Wycliffe's works: Cranmer declares that he set forth the 
truth of the Gospel; Hooper recalls how he resisted 'the 
popish doctrine of the Mass ' ; Bidley, how he denied tran- 
substantiation ; and Bale, how he denounced the friar& . . . 
Bale records with triumph that, in spite of the efforts to 
suppress (the writings of Wicliffe), not one had utterly 

And Dr. Bashdall goes the length of saying : 

"It is certain that the Beformation had virtually broken 
out in the secret Bible-readinffs of the Cambridge Beformers 
before either the trumpet-caU of Luther or the exigencies 
of Henry viil's personal and political position set men free 
once more to tsSk openly against the Pope and the monks, 
and to teach a simpler and more spiritual gospel than the 
system against which Wycliffe had striven." * 

Even if it be admitted that these statements are 
somewhat strong, they at least call attention to the fact of 
the vigorous Lollard leaven which permeated the English 
people, and are a very necessary corrective of the mislead- 
ing assertions of Dr. James Gairdner on the matter. 

Henry vm. had other popular forces behind him — ^the 

1 Tlunnas Cranmer and the English Jttfarmaiion (New York and London, 
1904), p. 91. 

« Didumary of National Biography, art. " Wycliffe," IriiL 218. 


rooted dislike to the clergy which characterised a large 
mass of the people, the effects of the teaching of the 
Christian Humanists of England, and the spread of Lutheran 
opinions throughout the land. 

The Bishop of London, writing to Wolsey about the 
proposal to try his Chancellor, Dr. Horsey, for complicity 
in the supposed murder of Bichard Hunne, declared that 
if the Chancellor 

^ be tried by any twelve men in London, they be so malici- 
ously set infavorem hoereticm pravitatis that they will cast 
and condenm any clerk though he were as innocent as 

This dislike was not confined to the capital. The Par- 
liaments showed themselves anti-clerical long before Henry 
had thrown off his allegiance to Bome ; ' and Englishmen 
could find no better term of insult to throw at the Scots 
than to call them " Pope's men." • 

Nor should the work of the Christian Humanists be 
forgotten. The double tendency in their longings for a 
reformation of the abuses of superstition, of pilgrimages, 
of relic-worship, eta, may be seen in the lives of Sir 
Thomas More and of William Tyndala When the former 
saw that reform meant the breaking up of the mediaeval 
Church, he became more and more conservative. But 
More in 1520 (Feb. 28th) could write to Lea that if the 
Pope (Leo x.) should withdraw his approval of Erasmus' 
Greek New Testament, Luther's attacks on the Holy See 
were piety itself compared with such a deed.^ Tyndale, 
the favourite pupil of Dean Colet, on the other hand, 
went forward and earned the martyr's crown. These 
Christian Humanists had expected much from Henry vni., 
whom they looked on as imbued with the New Learning ; 
and in the end perhaps they were not altogether mistaken. 
If the Bi8hop*8 Booh and the King's Booh be studied, it will 

* LeUtn and Papers, etc ii. i. p. 1. 

*Md, etc X. p. 961, ii. i. pp. 850, 854, 856. 

* Ihid. I. p. 879. * Ibid, in. p. 215. 


be seen that in both what is insisted upon is a reformation 
of oonduct and a study of the Bible— quite in the spirit of 
Colet and of £rasmu& 

The writings of Luther found early entrance into 
England, and were read by King ^ and people. A long list 
of them, including six copies of his work De potestcUe Papce^ 
is to be found in the stock of the Oxford bookseller, John 
Dome' (1520). Erasmus, writing to Oecolampadius (May 
15th, 1521), declares that there are many of Luther's books 
in England, and hints that but for his exertions they would 
have been burnt.' That was before Luther's official con- 
denmation. On May 28 th, Silvester, Bishop of Worcester, 
wrote to Wolsey from Home announcing that the Cardinals 
had agreed to declare Martin a heretic, and that a Bull was 
being prepared on the subject^ The Bull itself appeared 
in Borne on the 15 th of June; and thereafter our informa- 
tion about Luther's writings in England comes from 
evidence of endeavours to destroy them. Warham, the 
Archbishop of Canterbury, wrote to Wolsey (March 8th, 
1521) that he had received letters from Oxford which 
declared that the University was infected with Lutheranism, 
and that the forbidden books were in circulation thera' 
Indeed, most of the canons appointed to Wolse/s new 
foundation of the Cardinal College were suspect Cambridge 
was as bad, if not worsa Members of the University met 
at the White Horse Tavern to read and discuss Luther's 
writings ; the inn was called " Oermany," and those who 
frequented it " the Germans." Pope Leo urged both the 
King and Wolsey to prevent the circulation of Lutheran 
literature ; and they did their best to obey. We read that 
on May 12th, 1521, Wolsey went in great state to St. 
Paul's, and after various ceremonies mounted a scaffold, 
seated himself '' under a cloth of estate," and listened to a 
sermon preached by Bishop Fisher against Lutheran errora 

^ Letters and Papers, eto. in. p. 467. 

> Oxford ffistorieal Society, Colleetanea (Oxford, 1885), p. 164. 

' Letters and Papers, etc. ill. p. 284. ^ lbii> etc. m. L p. 29t. 

• Jhid. III. p. 449. 

Luther's writings 821 

At his feet on the right side sat the Pope's ambassadors 
and the Archbishop of Canterbury, and on the left side 
the imperial ambassadors and the Bishop of Durham. 
While the sermon was being preached) numbers of Lutheran 
books were burnt in a huge bonfire kindled hard by in 
St Paul's Churchyard.* The representatives of Pope and 
Emperor saw it all, and doubtless reported to their respect- 
ive Courts that Wolsey was doing his duty by Church and 
Empira It may be doubted whether such theatrical 
exhibitions hindered the spread of Luther's books in 
England or prevented them being read. 

All these things indicated a certain preparedness in 
England for the Beformation^ and all meant that there was 
a strong national force behind Henry vni. when he at last 
made up his mind to defy Bome. 

Nor was a national separation from Bome so formid- 
able an affair as Dr. Gairdner would have us believe. The 
Papacy had secularised itself, and European monarchs were 
accustomed to treat the Popes as secular princes. The 
possibility of England breaking away from papal authority 
and erecting itself into a separate patriarchate under the 
Archbishop of Canterbury had been thought probable 
before the divorce was talked about.' 

It was Henry himself who clung strenuously to the 
conception of papal supremacy, and who advocated it in a 
manner only done hitherto by canonists of the Boman 
Curia. Whatever be the secret reason which he gave to Sir 
Thomas More, and which silenced the latter's remonstrances, 
it is evident that the validity of Henry's marriage and the 
legitimacy of his children by Catharine of Aragon depended 
on the Pope being in possession of the very fullest powers 
of dispensation. Henry had been married to Catharine 
under very peculiar circumstances, which might well 

' LttUn and Papen, eto. in. i. p. 486. 

*Ihid. IV., Preface, p. 170: ''Some are of opinion that it (the Holy 
See) should not continue in Rome, lest the French King should make a 
patriarch in his kingdom and deny obedience to the said See, and the King 
of England and all other Christian princes do the same." 



suggest doubts about the validity of the marriage 

The England of Henry vn. was almost as much a 
satellite of Spain as Scotland was of France, and to make 
the alliance still stronger a mairiage was arranged between 
Arthur, Prince of Wales, and Catharine the youngest of 
the three daughters of Ferdinand and Isabella of Spain. 
The Spanish Princess landed at Plymouth (October Snd, 
1501), and the wedding took place in St Paul's on Novem- 
ber 14th. But Prince Arthur died a few months afterwards 
(April 2nd, 1502), and Catharine became a widow. The 
circumstances of the two nations appeared to require more 
than ever the cementing of the alliance by intermarriage, 
and it was proposed from the side of Spain that the young 
widow should marry Henry, her brother-in-law, now Prince 
of Wales.^ Ferdinand brought pressure to bear on 
England by insisting that if this were not done Catharine 
should be sent back to Spain and the first instalment of 
her dowry (all that had been paid) returned. The tuvo 
Kings then besieged the Pope, Julius n., to grant a dis- 
pensation for the marriage. At first His Holiness was 
very unwilling to consent. Such a marriage had been 
branded as sin by canonical law, and the Pope himself had 
great doubts whether it was competent for him to grant a 
dispensation in such a case.' In the end he was persuaded 
to give it. The two young people had their own scruples 
of conscience. Ferdinand fdt called upon to reason with 
his proposed son-in-law.' The confessor of his daughter 
was changed^ The Archbishop of Canterbury, who 
doubted whether the Pope could grant dispensation for 
what was a mortal sin in his eyes, was silenced.' The 
wedding took place (June 11th, 1509). 

^ Spanish CcUendavy L 267. 

* Pocock's Records of the Btformaiicn^ L 1 ; LeUen and Pe^^en, •!». it. 
iii. p. 2576. 

' Calendar of Spanish State Papers^ ii. 8. 

* Ibid., Preface, xiii. 

" Letters and Papers, etc. iv. iii p. 2579. A General Oounoil had pro- 
nounced against each a diapeneation ; ibid, lY. iii. p. 2865. 


The marriage was in one sense singularly unfortunate. 
The first four children were either stillborn or died soon 
after birth; and it was rumoured in Bbme as early as 
1614 that Henry might ask to be divorced in order to 
save England from a disputed succession. Mary was bom 
in 1516 and survived, but all the children who came 
afterwards were either stillborn or died in early infancy. 
It became evident by 1525 that if Henry did not divorce 
his wife he would have no male heir. 

There is no doubt that the lack of a male heir troubled 
Henry greatly. The English people had not been accus- 
tomed to a female sovereign ; it was currently, if errone- 
ously, reported in England that the laws of the land did 
not permit a woman to be sovereign, and such well- 
informed diplomatists as the Venetian Ambassadors believed 
the statement ; ^ and the Tudor dynasty was not so firmly 
settled on the throne that it could afibrd to look forward 
to a disputed succession. The King's first idea was to ask 
the Pope to legitimise his illegitimate son the Duke of 
Bichmond;' and Cardinal Campeggio actually suggested 
that the Princess Mary should be married to her half- 
brother.' These projects came to an end with the death 
of the young Princa 

There seems to be no reason for questioning the 
sincerity of Henry's doubts about the legitimacy of his 
marriage with Catharine, or that he actually looked upon 
the repeated destruction of his hopes of a male heir as a 
divine punishment for the sin of that contract.^ Questions 
of national policy and impulses of passion quicken marvel- 
lously conscientious convictions, but they do not show that 
the convictions are not real. In the perplexities of his 
position the shortest way out seemed to be to ask the 
Pope to declare that he had never been legally married to 

' Calendar qf Fenetian SkUe Papers, IbSrSS, p. 800. 
* Letters and Papers, ete. vr, ii. p. 1869 ; Calendar of l^nish State 
Papers, ill. ii. 482, 109. 

' Ibid, etc IV. ii. p. 2118 ; Lemmer, Monwnenta Fatieana, p. 29. 
« Jhid. etc. IV. iiL p. 2261. 


Catharine. If he had soraplee of oonscience aboat his 
marriage with his brother's widow, this would end them ; 
if the fears of a disputed succession haunted him, he could 
marrj again, and might hope for a son and a lawful heir 
whose succession none would dispute. Cardinal WoLaey 
adopted his master's plans, and the Pope was to be asked 
for a declaration that the marriage with Catharine Iiad 
been no marriage at all. 

There entered, however, into all this, at what time it is 
not easy to determine, an element of sordidness which 
goes ill with asserted scruples of conscience and imperious 
necessities of State. Wolsey was astonished when he 
learned that Henry had made up his mind to marry Anne 
Boleyn, a lady whose station in life and personal reputation 
unfitted her for the position of Queen of England. It wsa 
Henry's inordinate, if not very long-lived, passion for this 
lady that put him in the wrong, and enabled the Pope to 
pose as the guardian of the public morality of Europe. 
// It is plain that Henry vni. fully expected that the 
Pope would declare his first marriage invalid ; there was 
many a precedent for such action — two in Henry's own 
family;^ and the delay had nothing to do with the 
interests of public morality. The Pope was at the time 
practically in the power of Charles v., to whom his aunt, 
the injured Catharine, had appealed, and who had promised 
her his protection. One has only to study the phases of 
the protracted proceedings in the " Divorce " and compare 
them with the contempoi*ary situation in Italy to see that 
all that the Curia cared for was the success of the papal 
diplomacy in the Italian peninsula. The interests of 
morality were so Uttle in his mind that Clement proposed 
to Henry more than once that the King might take a 
second wife without going through the formality of having 
bis first marriage declared null and void.'. This had been 

' For the case of Mary Tudor, cf. LeUen and Papen, eto. rr. iii. pu 
2619, cl 17. i. p. 325 ; and for that of Margaret Tudor, widow of Jaixie* 
IV., cf. IV. ii. p. 1826. 

» LeiUrs and Papers, eta IV. iii. pp. 2987, 8028, 3189. 


the papal solution of the matter in an earlier instance, and 
Clement vii. saw no reasons why what bad been allowed 
to a King of Spain should be denied to the King of 
England.^ He was prepared to tolerate bigamy, but not 

within Italy.* '' 

It is needless to follow the intricacies of the Divorce. 
The protracted proceedings were an object lesson for 
English statesmen. They saw a grave moral question — 
whether a man could lawfully marry his deceased brother's 
widow; a matter vitally affecting the welfare of the 
English people — the possibility of a disputed succession ; 
the personal wishes of a powerful, strong-willed, and 
choleric sovereign (for all considerations were present, 
not only the last) — all subjected to the shifting needs of a 
petty Italian prince. So far as England was concerned, 
the grave interest in the case ended when Campeggio 
adjourned the inquiry (July 2 3rd, 1529). Henry knew that 
he could not expect the Pope to give him what he wanted ; 
and although his agents fought the case at Rome, he 
at once began preparing for the separation from papal 

The English nobles, who had long chafed under the 
rale of Wolsey, took advantage of the great Minister's 
fiailare in the Divorce negotiations to press forward his 
downfall He was deprived of the Lord Chancellorship, 
which was given to Sir Thomas More, and was further 
indicted before the King's Bench for infringement of the 
law of Prcemunire — an accusation to which he pleaded 

Meanwhile Henry had taken measures to summon a 
Parliament; and in the interval between summons and 

1 CaUndar of Spanish State Papers, ii. 879. 

* Letters and Pajters, etc. I7. iii. pp. 2047, 2066. 

' The two Btatutea of Prcsmunire (1858, 1898) will be fonnd in Qee .and 
Haidy, Documents illiutrative af Snglish Church ffistory (London, 1896X 
pp. 108, 122. They forbid subjects taking plaints cognisable in the King't 
courts to oourts outside the realm, and the second statute makes pointed 
refertnoe to the papal oourts. 


assembly, it had been suggested to him that Cranmer was 
of opinion that the best way to deal with the Divorce was 
to take it out of the hands of the Curia and consult the 
canonists of the various Universities of Europe. Cranmer 
was instructed to prepare the case to be laid before them. 
This was done so successfully that the two great English 
Universities, the French Universities of Paris, Orleans, 
Bourges, and Toulouse, decided that the King's marriage 
with Catharine was not valid ; the Italian Universities of 
Ferrara, Padua, Pavia, and Bologna came to the same 
conclusion in spite of a proclamation issued by the Pope 
prohibiting aU doctors from maintaining the invalid nature 
of the King's marriaga^ 

Parliament met on November 3rd, 1529, and, from the 
matters brought before it, received the name of the 
''Parliament for the enormities of the clergy." * It revealed 
the force of lay opinion on which Henry might count in 
the struggle he was about to begin with the clergy. With 
a view of strengthening his hands still further, the King 
summoned an assembly of Notables,* which met on June 
12th, 1530, and addressed the Pope in a letter in which 
they prayed him to consent to the King's desire, pointed 
out the evils which would follow from delaying the Divorce, 
and hinted that they might be compelled to take the 
matter into their own hands. This seems to have been 
the general feeling among the laity of England; for a 
foreigner writing to the Eepublic of Florence says : " No- 
thing else is thought of in that island every day, except of 
arranging affairs in jBUch a way that they do no longer be 
in want of the Pope, neither for filling vacancies in the 
Church, nor for any other purpose." * 

^ Paris and Orleana, LtiUtfn cmd PaperSf etc IT. in. p. 2845 ; Bourges 
and Bologna, ilnd. iv. iii. p. 2895 ; Padua, ibid. iv. iii pp. 2921, 
2928 (it ifl said that the Lutherans in the city strongly opposed the King) ; 
Pavia, ibid. IT. iiL p. 2988 ; Ferrara, ibid. it. iii. 2990. 

' A list of the matters to be brought before this Parliament is given in 
Letters and Papers, etc. iv. iii. pp. 2689^. 

• Ibid. IT. iii. pp. 2929, 2991. 

* Ibid. IT. iii. p. 8661 (Deoember 25th» 1580). 


Having made himself Buie of the great mass of the 
laitj, Henry next set himself to force the clergy into 
submission. He suddenly charged them all with being 
guilty of Prctmunire because they had accepted the 
authority of Papal Legates within the kingdom; and 
managed to extort a sum of £100,000, to be paid in 
five yearly instalments, by way of a fine from the clergy 
of the Province of Canterbury.^ At the same meeting of 
Convocation (1531) the clergy were compelled, imder 
threat of the law of Prctmunire, to declare that the King 
was '' their singular protector and only supreme lord, and, 
€Lsfar a$ thai i» permitted by the law of Christ ^ the Supreme 
Head of the Church and of the clergy." The ambiguity 
in the acknowledgment left a loophole for weak consciences ; 
but the King was satisfied with the phrase, feeling confident 
that he could force his own interpretation of the acknow- 
ledgment on the Church. '' It \a all the same," Charles v.'s 
ambassador wrote to his master, "as far as the King 
is concerned, as if they had made no reservation ; for no 
one now will be so bold as to contest with his lord the 
importance of this reservation." * 

This acknowledgment was, according to the King, simply 
a clearer statement of what was contained in the old 
statutes of Prcemunire^ and in all his subsequent 
ecclesiastical legislation he claimed that he was only 
giving efifect to the earlier laws of England. 

The Parliament of 1532 gave the King important 
assistance in forcing on the submission, not only of the 
clergy of England, but of the Pope, to his wishes. The 
Commons presented a petition complaining of various 
grievances afifecting the laity in the working of the 
ecclesiastical courts, which was sent with a set of demands 
from the King to the Convocation. The result was the 
important resolution of Convocation (May 15th, 1532) 
which is called the Svbmimon of the Clergy, where it is 

' LetUn and Papers, etc. T. 71. 

' Ilfid, etc. y. p. 47. Chapuys thought that the declaration made the 
King '' Pope of England." 


promised not to make any new canons without the King^s 
licence and ratification, and to submit all previous canons 
to a committee of revision, to consist of thirty-two persons, 
sixteen from Parliament and sixteen from the clergy, and 
all to be chosen by the King. This committee was to 
expunge all containing anything prejudicial to the King's 
prerc^tive. This Act of Convocation practically declared 
that the Church of England could neither make any rules 
for its own guidance without the King's permission, nor act 
according to the common law of the medieval Church 
when that, in the King's opinion, invaded the royal 
prerogative.^ From this Act the Church of England has 
never been able to free itself. The other deed of this 
Parliament which was destined to be of the greate&t use to 
Henry in his dealings with the Pope was an Act dealing 
with the annates, i,e. one year's income from all ecclesiastical 
benefices paid to the Pope on entrance into any benefice. 
The Act declared that the annates should be withheld 
from the Pope and given to the King, but permitted His 
Majesty to suspend its operation so long as it pleased 
him.* It was the suspensory clause which enabled Henry 
to coerce the Pope, and he was not slow to take advantage 
of it» Writing to Eome (March 21st, 1532), he said: 
" The Pope and Caixiinals may gain our friendship by truth 
and justice. Take care that they do not hope or despair 
too much from this power which has been committed to us 
by the statute. I do not mean to deceive them, but to 
tell them the fact that this statute will be to their ad- 
vantage, if they show themselves deserving of it ; if not, 
otherwise. Nothing has been defined at present, which 
must be to their advantage if they do not despise my 
friendship." * 

^ Cf. Qee and Hardy, DoeumeiUs illtutrafive of (he ffiOnry qfths English 
Church, p. 176. Chapuys declares that " Churclimen will be of leaa acoount 
than ahoemakera, who have the power of assembling and making their own 
statutes " (Letters and Papers, etc. v. 467 ; cf. vi. 121). 

' Ibid, p. 178 ; the suspensory clause is on p. 184. LeUert and Papers^ 
etc T. pp. 843, 413. 

• Ibid. etc. V. p. 71. * Ibid, eta v. i>. 415. 


Archbishop Warham, who had presided at the Convo- 
cation which made the submission of the clergy, died in 
Augost 1532; and Henry resolved that Cranmer, not- 
withstanding his unwillingness, should succeed him as 
Archbishop of Canterbury. Cranmer conscientiously 
believed that the royal supremacy was a good thing, and 
would cure many of the ecclesiastical evils which . no 
appeals to the Pope seemed able to reform ; and he was 
also convinced that the marriage of Henry with Catharine 
bad been one for which not even the highest ecclesiastical 
authority could give a dispensation. He was prepared to 
carry out the King's wishes in both respects. He could 
not be an acceptable Primate to the Boman Curia. Yet 
Henry, by threatening the Pope with the loss of the 
annates, actually compelled him to send Bulls to England, 
and that with imusual speed, ratifying the appointment to 
the Primacy of a man who was known to believe in the 
nullity of the King's marriage, and to be ready to give 
effect to his opinion ; and this at a time when the Parlia- 
ment of England had declared that the Primate's court 
was the supreme ecclesiastical tribunal for the English 
Church and peopla The deed made the Curia really 
responsible for almost all that followed in England. For 
Parliament in February 1633, acting on the submission of 
the clergy, had passed an Act prohibiting all appeals to 
Some from the Archbishop's court, and ordering that, if 
any appeals were taken, they must be to the King's Court 
of Chancery. This was the celebrated Act of Restraint 
of Appeala^ 

In the beginning of 1533 (Jan. 25th), Henry vni. 
was privately married to Anne Boleyn. He had taken 
the Pope's advice in this one particular, to get married 
without waiting for the Divorce; but soon afterwards 
(April 5th) he got from' the Convocation of Canterbury a 
document declaring that the Pope had no power to grant 
a dispensation in such a case as the marriage of Henry 

^ G«e and Hardy, DoeitmsnlSt etc p. 195 ; the important olanae ie on 
p. 198. 


with Catharine ; ^ and the Act of Bestraint of Appeals had 
made such a decision practically final so far as England 
was concerned. 

Cranmer was consecrated Archbishop of Canterbury on 
• March 30th, 1533. His opinions were known. He had 
been one of the Cambridge " Germans " ; he had freely con- 
sorted with Lutheran divines in Germany ; he had begun 
to pray in private for the abolition of the Pope's power in 
England as early as 1525 ; and it was not without reason 
that Chapuys called him a " Lutheran." ' 

On April 11th, 1533, the new Primate asked the King 
to permit him to try the question of the Divorce before 
his own ecclesiastical court ; and leave was granted him on 
the following day, as the principal minister *'of our 
spiritual jurisdiction." * The trial was begun, and the court, 
acting on the decisions of Convocation two months earlier, 
which had declared (1) that no dispensation could be given 
for a marriage with the widow of a brother provided the 
marriage had been consummated, and (2) that the marriage 
between Arthur and Catharine had been consummated, 
pronounced that the marriage between the King and 
Catharine of Aragon was null and void.^ This was 
followed by an inquiry about the marriage between the 
King and Anne Boleyn, which was pronounced valid, and 
preparations were made for the coronation of Queen Anne, 
which took place on June 1st, 1533.^ 

This act of defiance to Bome was at once resented by 
the Popa The Curia declared that the marriage between 
Henry and Catharine was lawful, and a Bull was issued 
conmianding Henry to restore Catharine and put away 
Anne within ten days on pain of excommunication ; which 
sentence the Emperor, all Christian Princes, and Henry's 
own subjects were called upon to execute by force of arm&* 

The action at Bome was answered from England by 

^ LeUera and Papers, etc. vi. pp. 145, 148 ; of. 218. 
« Ibid, etc VI. p. 35. • Ibid. vi. p. 168. 

< Ibid. VI. p. 231. • Ibid. VL p. 248. 

• Ibid. Yi. p. 418. 


the passing of several strong Acts of Parliament — all in 
1534. Thej completed the separation of the Church and 
people of England from the See of Eome. 

1. The Act forbidding the payment of annates to the 
Pope was again introduce, and this time made absolute ; 
no annaies were for the future to be sent to Eome as the 
first-fruits of any benefice. In the same Act new pro- 
visions were made for the appointment of Bishops ; they 
v^ere for the future to be elected by the Deans and Chapters 
on receiving a royal letter of leave and nomination.^ 

2. An Act forbidding the payment of Peter's Pence 
to the Bishop of Bome ; forbidding all application to the 
Pope for dispensations; and declaring that all such dis- 
pensations were to be sought for in the ecclesiastical 
courts within England.* 

3. The Act of Succession, which was followed by a 
second within the same year in which the nullity of the 
marriage of Henry with Catharine of Aragon was clearly 
stated, and Catharine was declared to be the " Princess of 
Wales," i,e. the widow of Arthur; which affirms the 
validity of the King's marriage with Anne Boleyn, and 
declares that all the issue of that marriage are legitimate ; 
and which affirms that, failing male succession, the crown 
falls to the Princess Elizabeth.* 

4. The Supremacy Act, which declares that the King 
is rightfully the Supreme Head of the Church of England, 
has been recogmsed as such by Convocation, and that it is 
within his powers to make ecclesiastical visitations and to 
redress ecclesiastical abusea^ 

5. The Treasons Act must also be included, inasmuch 
as one of its provisions is that it is treason to deny to the 
King any of his lawful titles (the Supreme Head of the 
Church of England being one), and that treason includes 
calling the Eling a heretic or a schismatia^ 

> Q«e and Hardy, DoowmwU iUudroHw of the Hidovy of ih$ Bngluh 
Church, p. 201. 

• Ibid. p. 209. • Ibid, pp. 282, 244. 

«iM(l. p. 248. • iUtf. p. 247. 


To complete the list, it is neoessaiy to mention that 
the two Convocations of Canterbury and of York solemnly 
declared that ''the Soman Pontiff had no greater juris- 
diction bestowed on him by Grod in the Holy Scriptures 
than any other foreign {exUmtui) Bishop " — a declaration 
called the Ahjuralion of the Papal Supremacjf hy the 

This separation of the Church of England from Bome 
really meant that instead of there being a dual control, 
there was to be a single one only. The Kings of England 
had always claimed to have some control over the Church 
of their realm ; Henry went further, and insisted that he 
would share that supervision with no one. But it should 
be noticed that what he did claim was, to use the terms of 
canon law, the potestas jurisdietioniSf not iiiepatestas ardinis; 
he never asserted his right to ordain or to control the 
sacraments. Nor was there at first any change in defini- 
tion of doctrines. The Church of England remained what 
it had been in every respect, with the exception that the 
Bishop of Rome was no longer recognised as the Hpiscapus 
Universalis, and that, if appeals were necessary from the 
highest ecclesiastical courts in England, they were not to 
be taken as formerly to Home, but were to be settled in the 
King's courts within the land of England. The power of 
jurisdiction over the affairs of the Church could scarcely 
be exercised by the King personally. Appeals could be 
settled by his judges in the law courts, but he required a 
substitute to exercise his power of visitation. This duty 
was given to Thomas Cromwell, who was made Yicar- 
General,' and the office to some small extent may be said 
to resemble that of the Papal Legate ; he represented the 
King as the Legate had represented the Pope. 

It was impossible, however, for the Church of England 
to maintain exactly the place which it had occupied. 
There was some stining of Beformation life in the land. 
Cranmer had been early attracted by the writings of 
Luther; Thomas Cromwell was not imsympathetic, and, 

^ Gee and Hardy, Doeument\ eto. p. 261. * IMd, p. 256. 


besides, he had the idea that there would be some advantage 
gained politically bj an approach to the German Pro- 
testants. There was soon talk about a set of Articles 
which would express the doctrinal beliefs of the Church of 
England. It was, however, no easy matter to draft them. 
While Cranmer, Cromwell, and such new Bishops as 
Latimer, had decided leanings towards the theology of 
the Beformation, the older Bishops held strongly by the 
mediaeval doctrines. The result was that, after prolonged 
consultations, little progress was made, and very varying 
doctrines seem to have been taught, all of which tended 
to dispeace. In the end, the King himself, to use his own 
words, " was constrained to put his own pen to the book, 
and conceive certain articles which were agreed upon by 
Convocation as catholic and meet to be set forth by 
authority."^ They were published in 1536 under the 
title, Articles devised hy the Kyng's Highnes Majestic to 
stciblysh Christen quietnes, and were ordered to be read 
" plainly " in the churches.* They came to be called the 
Ten Articles, the first doctrinal symbol of the Church of 

According to the preface, they were meant to secure, 
by royal authority, unity and concord in religious beliefs, 
and to repress and utterly extinguish all dissent and discord. 
Foxe the Martjnrologist describes them very accurately as 
meant for '' weaklings newly weaned from their mother's 
milk of Borne." Five deal with doctrines and five with 
ceremonies. The Bible, the Three Creeds (Apostles', 
Nicene, and Athanasian), and the doctrinal decisions of 
the first four (Ecumenical Councils, are to be r^arded as 
the standards of orthodoxy; baptism is necessary for 
salvation — children dying in infancy "shall undoubtedly 
be saved thereby, and else not"; the Sacrament of Penance 
is retained with confession and absolution, which are de- 
clared to be expedient and necessary; the substantial, 
real, corporeal Presence of Christ's Body and Blood under 
the form of Bread and Wine in the Eucharist is taught ; 

^ LeUen and Papers, etc. xi. p. 446. * Hid. xi. pp. SO, 445« 


faith as well as charity iB necessary to salvation ; images 
are to remain in the churches ; the saints and the Blessed 
Virgin are to be reverenced as intercessors ; the saints are 
to be invoked ; certain rites and ceremonies, such as clerical 
vestments, sprinkling with holy water, carrying candles on 
Candlemas Day, and sprinkling ashes on Ash-Wednesday, 
are good and laudable ; the doctrines of Purgatory and of 
prayers for the dead were not denied, but people were 
warned about them. It should be noticed that while the 
three Sacraments of Baptism, the Eucharist, and Penance 
are retained, no mention is made of the other four, and 
that this is not unlike what Luther taught in the BabyUmian 
Captivity of the Church of Christ \ that while the Beal 
Presence is maintained, nothing is said about Transub- 
stantiation; that while images are retained in churches, 
all incensing, kneeling, or offering to images is forbidden ; 
that while saints and the Virgin may be invoked as inter- 
cessors, it is said that it is a vain superstition to believe 
that any saint can be more merciful than Christ Himself ; 
and that the whole doctrine of Attrition and Indulgences 
is paralysed by the statement that amendment of life is a 
necessary part of Penance. 

It is only when these Articles are read along with the 
Injundixyns \a&yx&di m 1536 and 1538 that it can be fully 
seen how much they were meant to wean the people, if 
gradually, from the gross superstition which disgraced the 
popular mediaeval religion. If this be done, they seem 
an attempt to fulfil the aspirations of Chiistian Humanists 
like Dean Golet and Erasmus. 

After warning the clergy to observe all the laws made 
for the abolition of the papal supremacy, all those insisting 
on the supremacy of the King as the " supreme Head of 
the Church of England," and to preach against the Pope's 
usurped power within the realm of England, the Injurictume 
proceed to say that the clergy are to expound the Ten 
Articles to their people. In doing so they are to explain 
why superfluous holy days ought not to be observed ; they 
are to exhort their people against such superstitions as 


images, relics, and priestly miracles. They are to tell them 
that it is best to keep God's commandments, to fulfil His 
works of charity, to provide for their families, and to 
bestow upon the poor the money they often lavish on 
pilgrimages, images, and reUc& They are to see that 
parents and teachers instruct children from their earliest 
years in the Lord's Prayer, the Creed, and the Ten Com- 
mandments. They are to be careful that the sacraments 
are duly and reverently administered within their parishes, 
are to set an example of moral living, and are to give 
themselves to the study of the Scripturea The second 
set of Injunctions (1538) goes further. The clergy are 
told to provide " one whole Bible of the largest volume in 
English," which is to be set somewhere in the church 
where the parishioners can most easily read it ; and they 
are to beware of discouraging any man from perusing it, 
** for it is the lively word of God that every Christian man 
is bound to embrace and follow." They are to preach 
a sermon at least every quarter, in which they are to 
declare the very gospel of Christ, and to exhort the people 
to the works of charity, mercy, and faith especially pre- 
scribed in the Scriptures. They are to warn them against 
trusting to fancies entirely outside of Scripture, such as 
** wandering to pilgrimages, o£Pering of money or candles to 
images or relics, kissing or licking the same, and saying 
over a number of beads or suchlike superstitions." They 
are not to permit candles, tapers, or images of wax to be 
placed before the images in the churches, in order to avoid 
" that most detestable o£Pence of idolatry." ^ 

The Ten Articles thus authoritatively expounded are 
anything but " essentially Bomish with the Pope left out 
in the cold." They are rather an attempt to construct a 
brief creed which a pliant Lutheran and a pliant Bomamst' 
might agree upon — ^a singularly successful attempt, and 
one which does great credit to the theological attainments 
of the English King. 

^ The two sets of Injwnetions are printed in Gee and Hardy's DocwnenU 
Ulustraiive of the Hittory ofiihe English Churchy pp. 269, 275. 


It was thought good to have a brief manual of 
religious instiiiction to place in the hands of the lower 
clergy and of the people, perhaps because the Ten Articles 
were not always well received. A committee of divines, 
chiefly Bishops,^ were appointed to *' compile certain rudi- 
ments of Christianity and a Catechism." ' The result was 
a small book, divided into four parts — an exposition of 
the Apostles' Creed, of the seven Sacraments, of the Ten 
Commandments, of the Lord's Prayer, and the Ave Maria. 
Two other parts were added from the Ten Articles — one on 
Justification, for which faith is said to be necessary ; and 
the other on Purgatory, which is stoutly denied. Great 
difficulties were experienced in the compilation, owing to 
the " great diversity of opinions " • which prevailed among 
the compilers; and the book was a compromise between 
those who were stout for the old faith and those who were 
keen for the new ; but in the end all seemed satisfied with 
their work. The chief difference between its teaching and 
that of the Ten Articles is that the name sacrament is 
given to seven and not three of the chief ceremonies of 
the mediaeval Church ; but, on the other hand, the doctrine 
of Purgatory is denied. It was expected that the King 
would revise the book before its publication,^ but he " had 
no time convenient to overlook the great pains " bestowed 
upon it' Drafts of an imprimatur by the King have 
been found among the State Papers,*, but the book was 
finally issued in 1537 by the ^ Archbishops and Bishops 
of England," and was therefore popularly called the 
Bishops* Book All the clergy were ordered "to read 
aloud from the pulpit every Sunday a portion of this book " 
to their people.^ The Catechism appears to have been 
published at the same time, and to have been in large 

^ The liBt of members is given in Leitera amd Tapvn^ eto. xii. IL p. 16S. 

* LeUera and Papers, xii. ii. p. 165 {Ikfxe qfffer^ofd to Buear). 
» Ibid, etc XII. ii. p. 122. 

^Ibid, XII. ii. pp. 118, 122, 162. 

• Ibid, XII. ii. p. 228. • Ibid, xii. ii. p. 228. 
''Ibid, XII. ii. 252, 296. * Ibid. xil. il p. 384. 


Henry vm. afterwards revised the Bishaptf Book 
according to his own idea& The revision was published 
in 1543, and was known as the King's Book} 

Perhaps the greatest boon bestowed on the people of 
England by the Ten Articles and the Injunctions which 
enforced them was the permission to read and hear read 
a version of the Bible in their own tongue. For the 
vernacular Scriptures had been banned in England as they 
had not been on the Continent, save perhaps during the 
Albigensian persecution. The seventh of the Constitutions 
of Thomas Arundel ordains " that no one hereafter trans- 
lates into the English tongue or into any other, on his own 
authority, the text of Holy Scripture either by way of 
book, or booklet, or tract" This constitution was directed 
against Wiclifs translation, which had been severely 
proscribed. That version, like so many others during the 
Middle Ages, had been made from the Vulgate. But 
Lather's example had fired the heart of William Tyndale 
to give his countrymen an English version translated 
directly from the Hebrew and the Greek originals. 

Tyndale was a distinguished scholar, trained first at 
Oxford and then at Cambridge. When at the former 
University he had belonged to that circle of learned and 
pious men who had encouraged Erasmus to complete his 
critical text of the New Testament. He knew, as did 
More, that Erasmus desired that the weakest woman should 
be able to read the Gospels and the Epistles of St. Paul ; 
that the husbandman should sing portions of them to 
himself as he followed the plough ; that the weaver should 
hum them to the tune of his shuttle; and that the 
traveller should beguile the tedium of the road by repeating 
their stories ; and he did not, like More» turn his back on 
the ennobling enthusiasms of his youth.^ 

> Oranmer'a Miaeellaneous WrUtThgs and Letters (Parker Society, 
Cambridge, 1846), pp. 88-114, contains Correctione of the InstUtUian of a 
Chritlian Man (the Bishops* Book) by Henry VIII, , vnih Archbishop Cranmer^s 

* Am late as Jan. 158S we find him writing : " Let ue agitate for the use 



Tyndale found that he could not attempt his task in 
England. He went to Germany and began work in 
Cologne ; but, betrayed to the magistrates of that centre of 
German Bomanism, he fled to Worms. There he finished 
the translation of the New Testament, and printed two 
editions, one in octavo and the other in quarto — ^the latter 
being enriched with copious marginal notes. The ecclesi- 
astical authorities in England had early word of this trans- 
lation, and by Nov. 3rd, Archbishop Warham was exerting 
himself to buy and destroy as many copies as he could get 
hold of both in England and abroad ; and, thanks to his 
exertions, Tyndale was supplied with funds to revise his 
work and print a corrected edition. This version was 
welcomed in England, and passed secretly from hand to 
hand. It was severely censured by Sir Thomas More, 
not because the work was badly done, but really because 
it was so scholarly. The faithful translation of certain 
words and sentences was to the reactionary More "a 
mischievous perversion of those writings intended to 
advance heretical opinion " ; ^ and, strange to say, Dr. James 
Gairdner seems to agree with him.' Tyndale's version had 
been publicly condemned in England at the Council called 
by the King in 1530 (May), and copies of his book had 
been publicly burnt in St. Paul's Churchyard, while he 
himself had been tracked like a wild beast by emissaries 
of the English Government in the Netherland& 

Cranmer induced Convocation in 1534 to petition for 
an English version of the Bible, and next year Cromwell 
persuaded Miles Coverdale to undertake his translation in 
1535. It was made from the Vulgate with some assibt- 

of Soriptare in the mother-tongue, and for learning in the UniTorsitiM. . . . 
I never altered a syllable of God's Word myself, nor woald, against my 
conscience " {LetUn and Papers, etc. vi. p. 184). 

' Cf. Tyndale's answer to Sir Thomas More's animadYersions, JForka 
(Day's edition), p. 118. 

* Cf. Pollard's excellent and trenchant note, Orainm§r and ike Bnfflish 
Beformaiion (New York and London, 1904), p. 110 ; Qairdner, Th» Bn4lith 
Church in the SisBteerUh Century, from the Accemon ef Heiwy YIII. to (k» 
Deaih qf Mofry (hooAon, 1902), pp. 190-91. 


ance from Luther's version, and was much inferior to the 
proscribed version of Tyndale ; but it had a large private 
sale in England, and the King was induced to license it to 
enable the clergy to obey the Injunctions of 1536, which 
bad ordered a copy of the English Bible to be placed in all 
the churches before August 1537.^ 

The Archbishop, however, had another version in view, 
which he sent to Cromwell (Aug. 1537), saying that he 
liked it better than any other translation, and hoped it 
would be licensed to be read freely until the Bishops could 
set forth a better, which he believes will not be until after 
Doomsday. This version was practically Tyndale's. 

Tyndale had entrusted one of his friends, Bogers, 
with his translation of the Old Testament, finished as far 
as the Book of Jonah, and with his complete version of 
the New Testament. Bogers had taken Tyndale's New 
Testament, his Old Testament as far as the Book of 
Chronicles, borrowed the remaining portion of the Old 
Testament from Coverdale's version, and printed them 
with a dedication to the King, signed Thomas Matthew.' 
This was the edition recommended by Cranmer to Cromwell, 
which was licensed. The result was that Tyndale's New 
Testament (the same version which had been denounced 
as pernicious, and which had been publicly burnt only a 
few years before) and a large part of his Old Testament 
were publicly introduced into the parish churches of 
England, and became the foundation of all succeeding 
translations of the Bible into the English language.* On 
reconsideration, the translation was found to be rather too 
accurate for the Government, and some changes (certainly 
not corrections) were made in 1538-39. Thus altered, 
the translation was known as the Oreat BMe, and, because 
Cranmer wrote the preface, as Cranmer's Bible.^ This 

^ Letters and Papers, etc. xii. ii. p. 174. 
' National Dieliontvry of Biography, art. ** Rogers. " 
' The excellence of Tyndale's version is shown by the fact that many of 
bis renderings have been adopted in the Revised Version. 

^ IMxon, History of the Church qf England (London, 1878, etc), iL 77. 


was the version, the Bible '' of the largest volume/' which 
was ordered to be placed in the churches for the people 
to read, and portions of which were to be read from the 
pulpit every Sunday, according to the Injunctions of 1638. 

From 1533 on to the middle of 1539, there was a 
distinct if slow advance in England towards a real Beforma- 
tion ; then the progress was arrested, if the movement did 
not become decidedly retrograde. It seems more than 
probable that if Henry had lived a few years longer, 
there would have been another attempt at an advanca 

Part of the advance had been a projected political and 
religious treaty with the German Protestants. Neither 
Henry viii. nor John Frederick of Saxony appears to 
have been much in earnest about an alliance, and from 
the English King's instructions to his envoys it would 
appear that his chief desire was to commit the German 
divines to an approval of the Divorce.^ Luther was 
somewhat scornful, and seems to have penetrated Henry's 
design.* The German theologians had no doubt but that 
the marriage of Henry with Catharine was one which 
should never have taken place ; but they all held that, once 
made, it ought not to be broken.* Determined efforts were 
made to capture the sympathies of Melanchthon. Bishop 
Foxe, selected as the theological ambassador, was instructed 
to take him presents to the value of £70.^ His books 
were placed on the course of study for Cambridge at 
Cromweirs order.* Henry exchanged complimentary letters, 
and graciously accepted the dedication of Melanchthon's 
De Locis Communilms.^ An embassy was despatched , 
consisting of Foxe, Bishop elect of Hereford; Heath, 
Archdeacon of Canterbury; and Dr. Barnes, an English 
divine, who was a pronounced Lutheran. They met the 
Protestant Princes at Schmalkald and had long discussions. 

^ LeUer$ and Papers, etc. ix. p. 69. * Ibid, ix. 119. 

s Ibid. X. p. 284 ; of. De Wette, Dr. Martin Lutkera Brirfe, etc It. 
p. 668. 

« Ibid. IX. p. 72 ; of. p. 70. * Jbid. ix. p. 208. 

• Ibid. IX. pp. 74, 76, 166, 811. 


The confederated Princes and Henry found themBelvcB in 
agreement on many points : they would stoutly disown 
the primacy of the Pope; they would declare that they 
would not be bound by the decrees of any Council which 
the Pope and the Emperor might assemble; and they 
would pledge each other to get their Bishops and preachers 
to declare them null and void. The German Princes 
were quite willing to give Henry the title of " Defender 
of the Schmalkald League." But they insisted as the 
first articles of any alliance that the English Church and 
King must accept the theology of the Augsburg Confession 
and adopt the ceremonies of the Lutheran Church ; and 
on these rocks of doctrine and ritual the proposed alliance 
was shattered.^ The Germans had their own private 
view of the English Beformation under Henry viiL, which 
was neither very flattering nor quite accurate. 

** So far the King has become Lutheran, that, because 
the Pope has refused to sanction his divorce, he has ordered, 
on penalty of death, that every one shall believe and preach 
that not the Pope but himself is the head of the universal 
Church. All other papistry, monasteries, mass, indulgences, 
and intercessions for the dead, are pertinaciously adhered 

The English embassy went from Schmalkald to 
Wittenberg, where they met a number of divines, including 
Luther and Melanchthon, and proceeded to discuss the 
question of doctrinal agreement. Melanchthon had gone 
over the Augsburg Confession, and produced a series of 
articles which presented all that the Wittenberg theologians 
could concede, and Luther had revised the draft.^ Both 
the Germans were charmed with the learning and courtesy 
of Archdeacon Heath. Bishop Foxe ** had the manner 
of prelates," says Melanchthon, and his learning did not 

^ Leiiwa and Papers, eto. ix. pp. 844-48. 
> Ibid. z. p. 88. 

* These artiolee hftye been printed with a good historical introduotion by 
Profeesor Hentz of Jena, Vie Witt&iiberger AtUhd wm 1686 (Leipzig, l(K)5)i 


impress the Germans.^ The conference came to nothing. 
Henry did not care to accept a creed ready made for him, 
and thought that ecclesiastical ceremonies might differ in 
different countries. He was a King " reckoned somewhat 
learned, though unworthy/' he said, '' and having so many 
learned men in his realm, he could not accept at any 
creature's hand the observing of his and the realm's 
faith; but he was willing to confer with learned men 
sent from them." * 

Before the conference at Wittenberg had come to an 
end, Henry believed that he had no need for a German 
alliance. The ill-used Queen Catharine, who, alone of all 
persons concerned in the Divorce proceedings, comes out 
tmstained, died on Jan. 7th, 1636. Her will contained 
the touching bequest: '^To my daughter, the collar of 
gold which I brought out of Spain"* — out of Spain, 
when she came a fair young bride to marry Prince Arthur 
of England thirty-five years before. 

There is no need to believe that Henry exhibited the 
unseemly manifestations of joy which his enemies credit 
him with when the news of Catharine's death was brought 
to him, but it did free him from a great dread. He read 
men and circumstances shrewdly, and he knew enough of 
Charles V. to believe that the Emperor, after his aunt's 
death, and when he had no flagrant attack on the family 
honour of his house to protest against, would not make 
himself the Pope's instrument against England. 

Henry had always maintained himself and England 
by balancing France against the Empire, and could in 
addition weaken the Empire by strengthening the German 
Protestants. But in 1539, France and the Emperor 
had become allies, and Henry was feeling himself very 
insecure. It is probable that the negotiations which 
led to Henry's marriage with Anne of Cleves were due 
to this new danger. On the other hand, there had 
been discontent in England at many of the actions 

^ Letters and Papers, etc. x. p. 98 ; cf. 68, 97, 108* 
* Ibid. IX. p. 846. * Ibid. X. p. 16. 



which were supposed to come from the advance towards 

Henry vm. had always spent money lavishly. His 
father^s immense hoards had disappeared, while England, 
under Wolsey, was the paymaster of Europe, and the 
King was in great need of funds. In England as else- 
where the wealth of the monasteries seemed to have been 
collected for the purpose of supplying an empty royal 
exchequer. A visitation of monasteries was ordered, under 
the superintendence of Thomas Cromwell ; and, in order to 
give him a perfectly free hand, all episcopal functions 
were for the time being suspended. The visitation dis- 
closed many scandalous things. It was followed by the 
Act of Parliament (1536) for The Dissolution of the Lesser 
Monasteries} The lands of all monasteries whose annual 
rental was less than £200 a year were given to the 
King, as well as all the ornaments, jewels, and other goods 
belonging to them. The dislodged monks and nuns were 
either to be taken into the larger houses or to receive 
some measure of support, and the heads were to get 
pensions sufficient to sustain them. The lands thus acquired 
might have been formed into a gi*eat crown estate yielding 
revenues large enough to permit taxation to be dis- 
pensed with ; but the King was in need of ready money, 
and he had courtiers to gratify. The convent lands 
were for the most part sold cheaply to courtiers, and 
the numbers and power of the county families were 
largely increased. A new visitation of the remaining 
monasteries was begun in 1538, this time accompanied 
with an inquiry into superstitious practices indulged 
in in various parts of the country, and notorious relics 
were removed. They were of all sorts — part of St. 
Peter's hair and beard ; stones with which St. Stephen 
was stoned ; the hair shirt and bones of St. Thomas the 
martyr; a crystal containing a little quantity of Our 
Lady's milk, ** with two other bones " ; the " principal 
relic in England, an angel with one wing that brought to 

^ The Act b printed in Gee and Hardy, DocumenUj etc. p. 257. 


Caversham (near Beading) the spear's head that pierced 
the side of our Saviour on the cross " ; the ear of Malchus» 
which St. Peter cut off ; a foot of St Philip at Winchester 
" covered with gold plate and (precious) stones " ; and so 
forth.^ Miraculous images were brought up to London 
and their mechanism exposed to the crowd, while an 
eloquent preacher thundered against the superstition : 

" The bearded crucifix called the ' Rood of Grace ' (was 
brought from Maidstone, and) while the Bishop of Rochester 
preached it turned its head, rolled its eyes, foamed at the 
mouth, and shed tears, — in the presence, too, of many other 
famous saints of wood and stone . . . the satellite saints of 
the Kentish image acted in the same way. It is expected 
that the Virgin of Walsingham, St. Thomas of Canter- 
bury, and other images will soon perform miracles also in 
the same place ; for the trickery was so thoroughly 
exposed that every one was indignant at the monks and 

A second Act of Parliament followed, which vested all 
monastic property in the King ; and this gave the King 

^ Letters and Papers, etc. ziii. ii. pp. 86, 78, 147, 165. In LeUers and 
PaperSy etc. xiv. i. p. 158, there is ftn official aoooant of the Englifth 
Reformation under Henry viii., in whioh there is the following (p. 155) : 
"Touching images set in the churches, as books of the unlearned, though 
they are not r eceesary, but rather give occasion to Jews, Turks, and Saracens 
to think we are idolaters, the King tolerates them, except those about which 
idolatry has been committeil. . . . Our Lady of Worcester, when her gar- 
ments were taken off, was found to be the similitude of a bishop, like a 
giant, almost ten feet long ; . . . the roods at Boxelegh and other places, 
which moved their eyes and lips when certain keys and strings were bent or 
pulled in secret places — images of this sort the King has caused to be voided 
and committed other as it was convenient, following the example of King 
Ilezekiab, who destroyed the brazen serpent. Shrines, copses, and 
reliquaries, so called, have been found to be feigned things, as the blood of 
Christ was but a piece of red silk enclosed in a thick glass of crystalline, 
and in another place oil coloured of sanguis draconis, instead of the milk of 
Our Lady a piece of chalk or ceruse. Our Lady's girdle, the verges of 
Moses and Aaron, etc., and more of the Holy Gross than three oars may 
carry, the King has therefore caused to be taken away and the abusive 
pieoes burnt, and the doubtful sort hidden away honestly for fear of 

* nrid. XIII. i. 288-84, Nicholas PaHridge to BuUinger (April 12th). 


possession not only of huge estates, but also of an immense 
quantity of jewels and precious metals.^ The shrine of St. 
Thomas at Canterbury, when " disgarnished/' yielded, it is 
said, no fewer than twenty-six cartloads of gold and 

This wholesale confiscation of monastic property, 
plundering of shrines, and above all the report that Henry 
had ordered the bones of St. Thomas of Canterbury to be 
burned and the ashes scattered to the winds, determined 
Pope Paul in. to renew (Dec. 17th, 1538) the execution 
of his Bull of exconmnmication (Aug. 30th, 1635), which 
had been hitherto suspended. It was declared that the 
Bull might be published in St. Andrews or ''in oppido 
Calistrensi " in Scotland, at Dieppe or Boulogne in France, 
or at Tuam in Ireland.' The Pope knew that he could not 
get it published in England itself. 

The violent destruction of shrines and pilgrimage 
places, which had been holiday resorts as well as places of 
devotion, could not fail to create some popular uneasiness, 
and there were other and probably deeper roots of dis- 
content. England, like other nations, had been suffering 
from the economic changes which were a feature of the 
times. One form peculiar to England was that wool- 
growing had become more profitable than keeping stock 
or raising grain, and landed proprietors were enclosing 
commons for pasture land and letting much of their arable 
land lie fallow. The poor men could no longer graze their 
beasts on the commons, and the substitution of pasture for 
arable land threw great numbers out of employment. 
They had to sell the animals they could do longer feed, 
and did not see how a living could be earned; nor had 
they the compensation given to the disbanded monks. 
The pressure of taxation increased the prevailing distress. 

* The Aet/or the IHssoltUion of the Oreater Monasteries is printed in Gee 
and Hardy, DoeumenUt etc p. 281. 

« iWrf. XIII. ii. p. 49. 

* Letters and Papers, etc. xiii. ii. p. 469. "In oppido Calistrensi " ii 
probably "at Coldstream" ; Beaton had been made a Cardinal to be ready 
to malce the publication. 


Risings took place in Yorkshire, Lancashire, and Lincoln* 
shire, and the insurgents marched singing : 

** Christ crucified, 
For Thy woundeB wide^ 
Us commons guyde, 
Which pilgrims be, 
Through Gkxles graces 
For to purchache, 
Old wealth and peas 
Of the Spiritualities'^ 

In their demands they denounced equally the contempt 
shown for Holy Mother Chuich, the dissolution of the 
monasteries, the spoliation of shrines, the contempt shown 
to '' Our Ladye and all the saints," new taxes, the enclosure 
of commons, the doing away with use and wont in tenant 
rights, the branding of the Lady Mary as illegitimate, 
King's counsellors of " low birth and small estimation," and 
the five reforming Bishops — Cranmer and Latimer being 
considered as specially objectionable.' The Yorkshire 
Sising was called the Pilgrimage of Grace. 

The insurgents or « pilgrims " were not more consistent 
than other people, for they plundered priests to support 
their " army " ; • and while they insisted on the primacy of 
the Bishop of Bome, they had no wish to see his authority 
re-established in England. They asked the King to admit 
the Pope to be head of spiritual things, giving spiritual 
authority to the Archbishops of Canterbury and York, " so 
that the said Bishop of Rome have no further meddling." ^ 

The insurrections were put down, and Henry did not 
cease his spoliation of shrines and monasteries in conse- 
quence of their protests; but the feelings of the people 
made known by their proclamations, at the conferences held 
between their leaders and the representatives of authority, 
and by the examination of prisoners and suspected persons, 
must have suggested to his shrewd mind whether the 

^ Letters and Papers, etc. XI. p. 806. 

* Ibid, XI. pp. 288, 272, 865, 866, 477, 504, 507. 

• Jbid, XI. 288. * Ibid. XL 477. 


Beformation was not being pressed onward too hastily for 
the great majority of the English laity. England did not 
produce in the sixteenth century a great spiritual leader in- 
spired by a prophetic conviction that he was speaking the 
truth of God, and able to create a like conviction in the 
hearts of his neighbours, while he was never so far before 
them that they could not easily follow him step by step. 
The King cried halt ; and when Cromwell insisted on his 
plan of alliance with the Protestants of the Continent of 
Europe, he went the way of all the counsellors of Henry 
who withstood their imperious master (July 28th, 1540). 

But this is to anticipate. Negotiations were still in 
progress with the Lords of the Schmalkald League in the 
spring of 1539,^ €uid the King was thinking of cementing 
his connection with the German Lutherans by marrying 
Anne of Cleves,* the sister-in-law of John Frederick of 
Saxony. The Parliament of 1539 (April 28th to June 
28th) saw the beginnings of the change. Six questions 
were introduced for discussion : 

** Whether there be in the sacrament of the altar tran- 
substantiation of the substance of bread and wine into the 
substance of flesh and blood or not ? Whether priests may 
marry by the law of God or not? Whether the vow of 
chastity of men and women bindeth by the law of God or 
not? Whether auricular confession be necessary by the 
law of God or not? Whether private Masses may stand 
with the Word of God or not ? Whether it be necessary 
by the Word of God that the sacrament of the altar should 
be administered under both kinds or not ? " ' 

The opinions of the Bishops were divided ; but the lay 
members of the House of Lords evidently did not wish any 
change from the mediaeval doctrines, and believed that no 
one could be such a wise theologian as their King when 
he confounded the Bishop with his stores of learning. 
•^We of the temporalitie," wrote one who was present, 
^ have been all of one opinion . . . aU England have cause 

^ Letters and Papers, etc xiv. L p. 844. 

^Ifrid, XIV. i. pp. 191, 192, 687. ' Ihid, xiv, I p. 489. 


to thank God and most heartily to rejoice of the King's 
most godly proceedings." ^ So Parliament enacted the Six 
Articles Act,* a ferocious statute commonly called ''the 
bloody whip with six strings." To deny transubstantiation 
or to deprave the sacraments was to be reckoned heresy, 
and to be punished with burning and confiscation of goods. 
It was made a felony, and punishable with death, to teach 
that it was necessary to commtmicate in both kinds in the 
Holy Supper; or that priests, monks, or nuns vowed to 
celibacy might marry. All clerical marriages which had 
been contracted were to be dissolved, and clerical in- 
continence was punishable by loss of property and benefice. 
Special commissions were issued to hold quarterly sessions 
in every county for the enforcement of the statute. The 
official title of the Act was An Act abolishing Diversity of 
Opinion. The first commission issued was for the county 
of London, and at the first session five hundred persons 
were indicted within a fortnight. The law was, however, 
much more severe than its enforcement The five hundred 
made their aubmission and received the King's pardon. It 
was under this barbarous statute that so-called heretics 
were tried and condemned during the last years of the 
reign of Henry vm. 

The revival of mediaeval doctrine did not mean any 
difference in the strong anti-papal policy of the English 
King. It rather became more emphatic, and Henry spoke 
of the Pope in terms of the greatest disrespect. ''That 
most persistent idol, enemy of all truth, and usurpator of 
Princes, the Bishop of Eome," '' that cankered and venomous 
serpent, Paul, Bishop of Some," are two of his phrase&' 

The Act of the Six Statutes made Lutherans, as previous 
Acts had made Papists, liable to capital punishment ; but 
while Cromwell remained in power he evidently was able 
to hinder its practical execution. Cromwell, however, was 
soon to fall. He seemed to be higher in favour than ever. 

' IfCUers and Papers, eto. xiv. i. p. 476. 

* Gee and Hardy, Ducwvients, eto. p. 803. 

* Letters and Papers, etc. xiT. i. pp. 849, 43S. 


He had almost forced his policy on his master, and the 
marriage of Henry with Anne of Cleves (Jan. 6thy 1540) 
seemed to be his triumph. Then Henry struck suddenly 
and remorselessly as usual. The Minister was impeached, 
and condemned without trial. He was executed (July 
28th); and Anne of Cleves was got rid of on the plea of 
pre-contract to the son of the Duke of Lorraine (July 9 th). 
It was not the fault of Gardiner, the sleuth-hound of the 
reaction, that Granmer did not share the fate of the 
Minister. Immediately after the execution of Cromwell 
(July 30th), the King gave a brutal exhibition of his 
position. Three clergymen of Lutheran views, Barnes, 
Garret, and Jerome, were burnt at Smithfield ; and three 
Bomanists were beheaded and tortured for denying the 
Xang's spiritual supremacy. 

Henry had kept himself ostentatiously free from 
responsibility for the manual of doctrine entitled InstUtUion 
of a Christian Man. Perhaps he believed it too advanced 
for his people ; it was at all events too advanced for the 
theology of the Six Articles ; another manual was needed, 
and was published in 1543 (May 19th). It was entitled 
A Necessary Doctrine and Urtufition for any Christian 
Man ; set forth hy the King's Majesty of England. 

It was essentially a revision of the former manual, and 
may have been of composite authorship. Cranmer was 
believed to have written the chapter on faith, and it was 
revised by Convocation. The King, who issued it himself 
with a preface commending it, declared it to be '' a true 
and perfect doctrine for all people.'' It contains an 
exposition of the Creed, the Ten Commandments, the Lord's 
Prayer, and of some selected passages of Scriptui*e. Its 
chief difference from the former manual is that it teaches 
unmistakably the doctrines of Transuhstantiaiion^ the Invoca- 
tion of SaintSj and the Celibacy of the Clergy. It may be 
said that it very accurately represented the theology of the 
majority of Englishmen in the year 1643. For King and 
people were not very far apart. They both clung to 
mediaeval theology ; and they both detested the Papacy, 


and wished the clergy to be kept in due subordination. 
There was a widespread and silent movement towards an 
Evangelical Beformation always making itself apparent 
when least expected; but probably three-fourths of the 
people had not felt it during the reign of Henry. It 
needed Mary's burnings in Smithfield and the fears of a 
Spanish overlord, before the leaven could leaven the whole 



When Henry viii. died, in 1547 (Jan. 28th), the situa- 
tion in England was difficult for those who came after 
hint A religious revolution had been half accom- 
plished ; a social revolution was in progress, creating 
popular ferment ; evicted tenants and uncloistered monks 
formed raw material for revolt ; the treasury was empty, 
the kingdom in debt, and the coinage debased. The kingly 
authority had undermined every other, and the King was a 
child. The new nobility, enriched by the spoils of the 
Church, did not command hereditary respect; and the 
Council which gathered round the King was torn by rival 

Henry vni. had died on a Friday, but his death was 

^ SouBOKS in addition to those given on p. 818 : OdUfndar of State Papers^ 
Damutic Series^ cf the ReigTu of Edwwrd F/., Mary, and Elizabeth (this 
Calendar is for the most part merely an index to docaments which mnst 
he read in the Record Office) ; Corretpondatnoe politique d^Odet de Selve : 
CofMnisrion dee Archives Folitiques, Paris, 1888) ; Literary Bemains qf 
Edward VI. (Boxhuigh Cluh, London, 1857) ; Narratives of the lU/ormation 
(Camden Society, London, 1860) ; Wriothesley, Chronicle (Camden Society, 
London, 1875) ; Weiss, Papiere cC^tat du Cardinal de OranvelU {Collection 
de DoeumentB incite, Paris, 1841-52) ; FumiyaU, ScUlada from Manu* 
scripts (Ballad Society, London, 1868) ; Four Supplications of the Commons^ 
and Thomas Starkey, England under Henry VIIL (Early English Trzt 
Society, 1871); Strype, Ecclesiastical Memorials and Life of Cranmer 
(Oxfoid edition, 26 vols. 1820, etc.); Liturgies of Edtowrd VI, (Parker 
Society, Camhiidge, 1844) ; Stow Annals (Loudon, 1681). 

Latxk Books in addition to those giveu on p. 818 : Pollard, England 
under Protector Somerset (London, 1900) ; Burnet, History of the JUforma' 
Han (Oxford edition, 1865) ; Dixon, History of the Church of England 
(London, 1898) ; Gasqnet and Bishop, Edward VI. and the Book ef Oommtm 
Prayer (London, 1890). Ca'whridge Modem History ^ ii. xiv. 

> Pollard, CamMdge Modem History, ii. 474. 


kept concealed till the Monday (Jan. Slst), when Edward 
Yi. was brought by his uncle, the Earl of Hertford, and 
presented to the Council. There a will of the late King 
was produced, the terms of which make it almost impossible 
to believe that Henry did not contemplate a further 
advance towards a Beformation. It appointed a Council 
of Regency, consisting of sixteen persons who were named. 
Eleven belonged to the old Council, and among them were 
five who were well known to desire an advance, while the 
two most determined reactionaries were omitted — Bishop 
Gardiner and Thirlby. The will also mentioned by name 
twelve men who might be added to the Council if their 
services were thought to be necessary. These were added. 
Then the Earl of Hertford was chosen to be Lord Protector 
of the Realm, and was promoted to be Duke of Somerset 
The coronation followed (Feb. 20th), and all the fiishops 
were required to take out new commissions in the name 
of the young King — the King's ecclesiastical supremacy 
being thus rigidly enforced. Wriothesley, Henry's Lord 
Chancellor, who had been created the Earl of Southampton, 
was compelled to resign the Gi'eat Seal, and with his retire- 
ment the Government was entirely in the hands of men who 
wished the nation to go forward in the path of Reformation. 

Signs of their intention were not lacking, nor evidence 
that such an advance would be welcomed by the population 
of the capital at least. On Feb. 10th a clergyman and 
churchwardens had removed the images from the walls of 
their church, and painted instead texts of Scripture; an 
eloquent preacher, Dr. Barlow, denounced the presence of 
images in churches; images were pulled down from the 
churches in Portsmouth ; and so on. In May it was 
announced that a royal visitation of the cotmtry would 
be made, and Bishops were inhibited from making their 
ordinary visitationa 

In July (31st) the Council began the changes. They 
issued a series of Injunctions ^ to the clergy, in which they 

^ These Ir^unetionSf and the Articles of Inquiry which interprets them, are 
printed in Strype, Ecelesiatiieal JiemoriaU^ etc (Oxford, 1822) u. L pp. 74-88^ 


were commanded to preach against ** the Bishop of Eome's 
usurped power and jurisdiction " ; to see that all images 
which had been *' abused " as objects of pilgrimages should 
be destroyed ; to read the Gospels and Epistles in English 
during the service; and to see that the Litany was no 
longer recited or suug in processions, but said devoutly 
kneeling. They next issued Twelve Homilies^ meant to 
guard the people against " rash preaching/' Such a series 
had been suggested as early as 1542, and a proposed draft 
had been presented to Convocation by Cranmer in that year, 
but had not been authorised. They were now issued on 
the authority of the Council. Three of them were com- 
posed by Cranmer. These seimons contain little that is 
doctrinal, and confine themselves to inciting to godly 
living.^ Along with the ffomUies, the Council authorised 
the issue of Udall's translation of the Paraphrases of 
Erasmus, which they meant to be read in the churches. 

The royal visitation seems to have extended over a 
series of years, beginning in 1547. Dr. James Gairdner 
discovered, and has printed with comments, an account or 
report of a visitation held by Bishop Hooper in the diocese 
of Gloucester in 1551. One of the intentions of the 
visitation was to discover how far it was possible to expect 
preaching from the English clergy. Dr. Gairdner sums up 
the illiteracy exhibited in the report as follows: — Three 
hundred and eleven clergymen were examined, and of these 
one hundred and seventy-one were unable to repeat the 
Ten Commandments, though, strangely enough, all but 
thirty-four could teU the chapter (Ex. xx.) in which they 
were to be found ; ten were unable to repeat the Lord's 
Prayer ; twenty-seven could not tell who was its author ; 
and thirty could not tell where it was to be found. The 
Keport deserves study as a description of the condition of 
the clergy of the Church of England before the Beformation. 
These clergymen of the diocese of Gloucester were asked 
nine questions — three under three separate heads: (1) 

* dmnmer, MuManeoui Writings and Letters (Parker dooiety, Cam- 
bridge, 1846), p. 128. 



How many commandments are there? Where are they 
to be found ? Eepeat them. (2) What are the Articles 
of the Christian Faith (the Apostles' Creed) ? Sepeat 
them. Prove them from Scripture. (3) Kepeat the 
Lord's Prayer. How do you know that it is the Lord's ? 
Where is it to be found ? Only fifty out of the three 
hundred and eleven answered all these simple questions, 
and of the fifty, nineteen are noted as having answered 
nudiocrUer. Eight clergymen could not answer any single 
one of the questions ; and while one knew Uiat the number 
of the Commandments was ten, he knew nothing else. 
Two clergymen, when asked why the Lord's Prayer was 
so called, answered that it was because Christ had given 
it to His disciples when he told them to watch and pray ; 
another said that he did not know why it was called the 
Lord's Prayer, but that he was quite willing to believe 
th at it wa s the Lord's because the King ha d said so ; and 
fkuother answered that all he knew about it was that such 
was the common report Two clergymen said that while 
they could not prove the articles of the Creed from 
Scripture, they accepted them en the authority of the 
King ; and one said that he could not tell what was the 
Scripture authority for the Creed, unless it was the first 

y ^a"^ chapter of Genesis, but that it did not matter, since the 

/' \ King had guaranteed it to be correct^ 

v% . ^ There is no reason to believe that the clergy of this 

* ^ diocese were worse than those in other parts of England. 

C" ^ 'v If this report be compared with the accounts of the un- 

\ I , reformed clergy of central Germany given in the reports 

of the visitations held there between 1528 and 1635, the 
condition of things there which filled Luther with such 
despair, and induced him to write his Small Cathechism, 
was very much better than that of the clergy of England 
Not more than three or perhaps four out of the three 
hundred and eleven had ever preached or could preach. 
These facts, extracted from the formal report of an 
authoritative visitation made by a Bishop, explain the 

^ English ffislarieal Meview for 190i (January), pp. 98/. 



constant cry of the Puritans under Elizabeth for a preach- 
ing ministry. 

The Council were evidently anxious that the whole 
service should be conducted in the English language, and 
that a sermon should always be part of the public worship. 
The reports of the visitation showed that it was 
useless to make any general order, but an example was 
given in the services conducted in the Boyal GhapeL 
Meanwhile (1547) Thomas Hopkins was engaged in 
making a versipn of the Psalms in metre, to be sung both 
in private and in the churches, and these soon became 
highly popular. Like corresponding versions in France 
and in Germany, it served to spread the Beformation 
among the people; and, as might have been expected. 
Archbishop Laud did his best to stop the singing of these 
Psalms in later days. 

The first Parliament of Edward VI. (Nov. 4th to Dec. 
24th, 1547) made large changes in the laws of England 
affecting treason, which had the effect of sweeping away 
the edifice of absolute government which had been so 
carefully erected by Henry vni. and his Minister Thomas 
CromwelL The kingly supremacy in matters of religion 
was maintained ; but the Act of the Six Articles was erased 
from the Statute Book, and with it aU heresy Acts which 
bad been enacted since the days of Bichard li., and 
treason was defined as it had been in the days of Edward 
UL This legislation gave an unwonted amount of freedom 
to the English peopla 

Convocation had met in November and December 
(1547), and, among other things, had agreed unanimously 
that in the Holy Supper the partakers should communicate 
in both kifids, and had passed a resolution by fifty-three 
votes to twelve that all canons against the marriage of 
the clergy should be declared void. These two resolutions 
were communicated to Parliament, with the result that an 
Act was passed ordaining that " the most blessed Sacrament 
be hereafter commonly administered unto the people within 
the Church of England and Lreland, and other the Sling's 


dominions, under both the kinds, that is to say, of bread 
and wine, except necessity otherwise require."' An Act 
was also framed permitting the marriage of the clergy, 
which passed the Commons, but did not reach the House 
of Lords in time to be voted upon, and did not become law 
until the following year. Other two Acts bearing on the 
condition of the Church of England were issued by this 
Parliament According to the one, Bishops were hence- 
forth to be appointed directly by the King, and their courts 
were to meet in the King's nama According to the 
other, the property of all colleges, chantries, guilds, eta, with 
certain specified exceptions, was declared to be vested in 
the Crown.* 

Communion in both kinds made necessary a new 
Communion Service, and as a tentative measure a new 
form for the celebration was issued by the Council, which 
is called by Strype the Book of Communion} It enjoined 
that the essential words of the Mass should still be said 
in Latin, but inserted seven prayera in English in the 
ceremony. The Council also proceeded in their war 
against superstitions. They forbade the creeping to the 
Cross on Good Friday, the use of ashes on Ash-Wednesday, 
of palms on Palm Sunday, and of candles on Candlemas ; 
and they ordered the removal of aU images from the 
churches. Cranmer asserted that all these measures had 
been intended by Henry vni. 

The next important addition to the progress of the 
Keformation was the preparation and introduction of a 
Service Book* — The Boke of the Common Prater and 
Administration of the Sa^yramentes and other Bites and 
Ceremonies after the use of the Churche of England 

^ ThU Act, entitled Act against HemlerSy and for receiving in both Kinde^ 
is printed in Gee and Hardy, DoeumentSt etc p. 822. 

' Gee and Hardy, DocuinenUy etc. p. 328. 

' Bceiesiaaical Memorials^ etc. ii. i. p. 188. It is printed in The Two 
LiturgUSt with other Documentt eet forth by Authority in the Reign <tf King 
Edtcard the Sixth (Parker Society, Cambridge, 1844), p. 1. 

^ The book is printed m The Ttoo Liturgiee^ etc., of the Parker Society, 
pp. 9ff, 


(1549), commonly called The First Prayer-Book of King 
Edward vi. It was introduced by an Act of Uniformity} 
which, after relating how there had been for long time in 
England ''divers forms of Common Prayer . . . the use 
of Sarum, York, Bangor, and of Lincoln," and that 
diversity of use caused many inconveniences, ordains the 
universal use of this one form, and enacts penalties on 
those who make use of any other. The origin of the 
book is somewhat obscure. There is no .trace of any 
commission appointed to frame it, nor of any formally 
selected body of revisers. Cranmer had the chief charge 
of it, and was assisted by a number of divines — though 
where they met is uncertain, whether at Windsor as the 
King records in hia diary, or at Chertsey Abbey, as is said 
in the Grey Friars Chronicle. About the end of 
October the Bishops were asked to subscribe it, and it was 
subjected to some revision. It was then brought before 
the House of Lords and discussed there. It was in this 
debate that Cranmer disclosed that he had definitely 
abandoned the theory of transubstantiation. The Prayer- 
Book, however, was eminently conservative, and could be 
subscribed to by a believjer in the old theory. The giving 
and receiving of the Bread is called the Communion of the 
Body of Christ, of the Winey the Communion of the Blood 
of Christ ; and the practice of making the sign of the Cross 
is adhered to at stated points in the ceremony. An 
examination of its structure and contents reveals that it 
was borrowed largely from the old English Use of Sarum, 
and from a new Service Book drafted by the Cardinal 
Quignon and dedicated to Pope Paul m. The feeling 
that a new Service Book was needed was not confined to 
the Reformers, but was affecting all European Christians. 
The great innovation in this Liturgy was that all its parts 
were in the English language, and that every portion of 
the service could be followed and understood by all the 

With the publication of this First Prayer-Book of King 
^ Gee and Hudy, Docttmenti, eta pp. 858/1 


Edward VL the first stage of the Beformation during his 
reign comes to an end. The changes made had all been 
contemplated by Henry viiL himself, if we are to believe 
what Cranmer affirmed They did not content the more 
advanced Beformers, and they were not deemed sufficient 
by Cranmer himself. 

The changes made in the laws of England — the 
repeal of the ^ bloody " Statute of the Six Articles and of the 
treason laws — had induced many of the English refugees 
who had gone to Qermany and to Switzerland to return to 
their native land. The Emperor Charles v. had defeated 
the German Protestants in the battle of Muhlberg in 
1547 (April), and England for a few years became a 
place of refuge for continental Protestants fleeLag from 
the requirements and penalties of the Interim. All this 
gave a strong impetus to the Beformation movement in 
England. Martin Bucer, compelled to leave Strassborg, 
found refuge and taught in Cambridge, where he was for 
a time the regius professor of divinity. Paul Biichlin 
(usually known by his latinised name of Fagius), a 
compatriot of Bucer and a well-known Hebrew scholar, 
was also settled at Cambridge, where he died (Nov. 1549). 
Peter Martyr Vermigli and Bernardino Ochino, two illus- 
trious Italian Protestants, came to England at the 
invitation of Cranmer himself, and long afterwards 
Queen Elizabeth confessed that she had been drawn 
towards their theology. Peter Alexander of Aries and 
<John k Lasco, the Pole, also received the protection and 
hospitality of England.^ The reception of these foreign 

^ Mr. Pollard (Cambridge Modem HisUyry, ii. pp. 478, 479) thinks that 
the influence of these foreign divines on the English Reformation has been 
overrated ; and he is probably correct so far as changes in worship and 
usages go. His idea is that the English Reformers followed the lead of 
Wiclif, consciously or unconsciously, rather than that of continental divines ; 
but if the root-thought in all Reformation theology be considered, it may be 
doubted whether Wiclif could supply what the English divines had in 
common with their continental contemporaries. Wiclif, with all his desire 
for Reformation, was essentially a mediieval thinker. The theological 
question which separated every medireval Reformer from the thinkers of the 
Reformatio^ was, How the benefits won by the atoning work of Christ 


divineB, and their appointment as teJEichers in the English 
universities, did not escape protest from the local teachers 
of theology, who were overruled by the Government 

Between the first and the second stage of the Beforma* 
tion of the Church of England in this reign, a political 
change occurred which must be mentioned but need not 
be dwelt upon. The Duke of Somerset incurred the 
wrath of his colleagues, and of the new nobility who had 
profited by the sale of Church lands, by his active 
sympathy with the landless peasantry, and by his proposals 
to benefit them. He was driven from power, and his 
place was taken by the unscrupulous Earl of Warwick, who 
became Lord Protector, and received the Dukedom of 
Northumberland. The new Governor of England has 
been almost universally praised by the advanced Reformers 
because of the way in which he pushed forward the 
Beformation. It is well to remember in these days, when 
the noble character of the Duke of Somerset has received 
a tardy recognition,^ that John Knox, no mean judge of 
men, never joined in the praise of Northumberland, and 
greatly preferred his predecessor, although his advance in 
the path of Beformation had been slower and much more 

There was much in the times to encourage Northumber- 
land aud his Council to think that they might hurry on 
the Beformation movement. 

The New Learning had made great strides in England, 
and was leavening all the more cultured classes, and it 
naturally led to the discredit of the old theology. The 
English advanced Beformers who had taken refuge abroad, 
and who now returned, — men like Bidley and Hooper, — 
could not fail to have had some influence on their 
countrymen ; they had almost all become imbued with the 

were to be appropriated by men ? The uniyersal mediaeyal answer was, By 
an imitation of Christ ; while the universal Reformation answer was, By 
tract in the promises of God (for that is what is meant by Justification by 
Faith). In their answer to this test question, the English divines are at 
one with the Reformers on the Continent, and not \Kith Wicli^ 
^ Pollard, England tinder Protector Somereet (London, 1900). 


Zwinglian type of theology, and Bullinger was their trusted 
adviser. It seemed as if the feelings of the populace 
were changing, for the mobs, instead of resenting the 
destmction of images, were rather inspired by too mucli 
iconoclastic zeal, and tried to destroy stained-gla^ windowe 
and to harry priests. Granmer's influence, always on the 
side of reform, had much more weight with the Council 
than was the case under Henry Tm. He had abandoned 
long ago his belief in transubstantiation, he had given up 
the Lutheran doctrine of oonsubstantiation, if he ever held 
it, and had now accepted a theory of a real but spiritual 
Presence in the communion elements which did not greatly 
differ from the more moderate Zwinglian view. The clergy, 
many of them, were making changes which went far beyond 
the Act of Uniformity. The removal of restrictions on 
printing the Bible had resulted in the publication of more 
than twenty editions, most of them with annotations which 
explained and enforced the new theology on the authority 
of Scripture. 

In these circumstances the Council enforced the Act 
of Uniformity in a one-sided way — against the Bomanist 
sympathisers. Many Bomanist Bishops were deprived of 
their sees, and their places were filled by such men as 
Coverdale, Ridley, Ponet, and Scovey — all advanced 
Reformers. John Knox himself, freed from his slavery in 
the French galleys by the intervention of the English 
Government and made one of the King's preachers, was 
ofifered the bishopric of Rochester, which he declined. It 
must be remembered, however, that the Lord Protector and 
his entmirage seem to have been quite as much animated 
by a desire to fill their own pockets as by zeal to promote 
the cause of the Reformation. Indeed, there came to be in 
England at this time something like the tulchan Bishops 
of a later period in Scotland ; great nobles got possession 
of the episcopal revenues and allowed the new Bishops a 
stipend out of them.^ 

^ '< Tulchan is a calf skin stuffed with straw to oause the oow to givB 
milk. The Bishop served to cause the bishoprick to yeeld oommoditie to my 


Then came a second revision of the Prayer-Book — ITu 
Bohe of Common Praier and Administration of the Sacra" 
menies and other Bites and Ceremonies in the Church^ of 
England (1552). It is otmmonly called the Second 
Prayer-Book of King Edward the Sixth} Cranmer had 
conferences with some of the Bishops as early as Jan. 
1551 on the subject, and also with some of the foreign 
divines then resident in England; and it is more than 
probable that his intention was to frame such a liturgy as 
would bring the worship of the Church of England into 
harmony with that of the continental Reformers. There is 
no proof that the book was ever presented to Convocation 
for revision, or that it was subject to a debate in Parlia^ 
ment, as was its predecessor. The authoritative proclama- 
tion says : 

- " The King's most excellent majesty, with the assent of 
the Lords and Commons in this present Parliament assembled, 
and by the authority of the same, has caused the aforesaid 
order of common service, entitlckl The Book of Common 
Prayer, to be faithfully and godly perused, explained, and 
made fully perfect, and by the aforesaid authority has an- 
nexed and joined it, so explained and perfected, to this 
present statute."' 

This Booh of Common Prayer deserves special notice, 
because, although some important changes were made, it is 
largely reproduced in the Book of Common Prayer which 
is at present used in the Church of England. The main 
differences between it and the First Prayer-Book of King 
Edward appear for the most part in the communion 
service, and were evidently introduced to do away with 
all thought of a propitiatory Mass. The word altar is 
expunged, and table is used instead : minister and priest are 
used indifferently as equivalent terma " The minister at 


lord who procured it to him." Scott's Apologeiical Ndrration of (he State 
amd Oavemment of the Kirk of Scotland since the He/ormatwn (Woodrow 
flooiety, Edinburgh, 1848), p. 25. 

^ The book ie printed in The Two LUi^rgies, trith other Documents^ etc 
(Parker Society), p. 187. 

' Qee and Hardy, Doewnente, etc. p. 871. 


the time of the communion, and at all other times in his 
ministration, shall use neither Alb, Vestment, nor Clope ; 
but being an archbishop or bishop, he shall have or wear 
a rochet : and being a priest or deacon, he shall have and 
wear a surplice only." Instead of ** standing humbly afore 
the midst of the altar," he was to stand ''at the north 
side of the table " ; and the communion table was ordered to 
be removed from the east end of the church and to be 
placed in the chancel. Ordinary instead of unleavened 
bread was ordered to be used. In the older book the 
prayer. Have mercy on us, Lard, had been used as an 
invocation of God present in the sacramental elements; 
in the new it became an ordinary prayer to keep the com- 
mandments. The Ten Commandments were introduced for 
the first time. Some rubrics — that enjoining the minister 
to add a little water to the wine — were omitted. Similar 
changes were made in the services for baptism and confirma- 
tion, and in the directions for ordination. One rubric was 
retained which the more advanced Beformers wished done 
away with. Communicants were required to receive the 
elements kneeling. But the difficulties were removed by 
a later rubric : 

'' Yet lest the same kneeling might be thought or taken 
otherwise, we do declare that it is not meant thereby, that 
any adoration is done, or ought to be done, either unto the 
sacramental bread or wine there bodily received, or to any 
real or essential presence there being of Christ's natural 
flesh and blood." 

This addition is said, on somewhat uncertain evidence, 
to have been suggested by John Knox. 

The most important change, however, was that made 
in the words to be addressed to the communicant in the 
act of partaking. In the First Prayer-Book the words 

" When the priest delivereth the sacrament of the Body 
of Christ, he shall say to every one these words : 

* The Body of our Lord Jesus Christ, which tvas given for 
thee, preserve thy body and soul unto everlasting life.* 


And the minister delivering the sacrament of the Blood, 
and giving every one once to drink and no more, shall 

* The Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ, which was shed for 
thee, preserve thy body and sovl unto everlasting life* " ^ 

In the Second Prayer-Booh the rubric was altered to : 

** Then the minister, when he delivereth the bread, shall 

' Take and eat this in remembrance that Christ died for 
thee, and feed on Him in thy heart by faith and with thanks- 

AnA. the minister that delivereth the cup shall say : 

^ Drink this in remembrance that Christ s blood was shed 
for thee, and be thankful' " • 

The difference represented by the change in these 
words is between what might be the doctrine of transub- 
stantiation and a sacramental theory distinctly lower than 
that of Luther or Calvin, and which might be pure 

This Second Prayer-Book of King Edward was enforced 
by a second Act of Uniformity, which for the first time 
contained penalties against laymen as well as clergymen — 
against " a great number of people in divers parts of the 
realm, who did wilfully refuse to come to their parish 
churches." The penalties themselves show that many of 
the population refused to be dragged along the path of 
reformation as fast as the Council wished them to go.' 

Soon after there followed a new creed or statement of 
the fundamental doctrines received by the Church of 
England. This was the Forty-two Articles, interesting 
because they formed the basis of the later Elizabethan 
Thirty-nine Articles. They were thrust on the Church of 
England in a rather disreputable way. It was expressly 
stated on the title-page that they had been agreed 
upon by the Bishops and godly divines at the last Con- 

' Compare The Two Liturgies, etc. (Parker Society) p. 288. 

• Ibid. pp. 92, 279. 

' Qee and Hardy, Documents, etc. p. 269. 


vocation in London — a statement which is not correct 
They were never presented .to Convocation, and were 
issued on the authority of the King alone, and received 
his signature on June 12th (1653), scarcely a month 
before he died. 

One other document belonging to the reign of Edward 
VI. must be mentioned — the BefoTTnatio Legum EccUsiasti- 
carum, drafted by Cranmer. The Archbishop had begun 
in 1544 to collect passages from the old Canon Law which 
he thought might serve to regulate the government and 
discipline of the Church of England. A commission of 
thirty-two was appointed to assist him, and from these a 
committee of eight were selected to " rough hew the Canon 
Law." When the selection- was made, a Bill to legalise it 
was introduced into Parliament, but it failed to pass ; and 
the BeformcUio Legum never became authoritative in 
England. It was as well, for the book enacted death 
penalties for various heresies, which would have made it a 
cruel weapon in the hands of a persecuting government. 

During the reign of Edward VI. the beginnings of that 
Puritanism which was so prominent in the time of 
Elizabeth first manifested themselves. Its two principal 
spokesmen were the Bishops Hooper and Ridley. Hooper 
was an ardent follower of Zwingli, and was esteemed to be 
the leader of the party ; and Ridley's sentiments were not 
greatly different Hooper came into contact with the 
Government when he was appointed to the See of 
Gloucester. He then objected to the oath required from 
Bishops at their consecration, and to the episcopal robes, 
which he called "Aaronic" vestments. The details of 
the contest are described by a Zwinglian sympathiser, 
Macronius, in a letter to BuUinger at Zurich^ (^^- 28th, 

'' The King, as you know, has appointed him (Hooper) 
to the bishopric of Gloucester, which, however, he refused 
to accept unless he cd. be altogether relieved from all 

^ Original LeUers relative to the JBngli$k JReformation (Parker Sooietyi 
Cambridge^ 1847), ii. 566. 


appearance of popish superstition. Here then a question 
immediately arises as to the form of oath which the Bishops 
have ordered to be taken in the name of Qod, the saints, 
and the Qospels; which impious oath Hooper positively 
refused to taka So, when he appeared before the King in 
the presence of the Council, Hooper convinced the King by 
many arguments that the oath should be taken in the name 
of God alone, who knoweth the heart. This took place on 
the 20th of July. It was so agreeable to the godly King, 
that with his own pen he erased the clause of the oath 
which sanctioned swearing by any creatures. Nothing could 
be more godly than this act, or more worthy of a Christian 
king. When this was done there remained the form of 
episcopal consecration, wh., as lately prescribed by the 
Bishops in Parliament, differs but little from the popish one. 
Hooper therefore obtained a letter from the King to the 
Archbishop of Canterbury (Cranmer), that he might be con- 
secrated without superstition. But he gained nothing by 
this, as he was referred from the Archbishop of Canterbury 
to the Bishop of London (Ridley), who refused to use 
any other form of consecration than that which had been 
subscribed by Parliament. Thus the Bishops mutually 
endeavour that none of their glory shall depart. A few 
days after, on the 30th of July, Hooper obtained leave from 
the King and the Council to be consecrated by the Bishop 
of London without any superstition. He replied that he 
would shortly send an answer either to the Council or to 
Hooper. While, therefore, Hooper was expecting the 
Bishop's answer, the latter went to court and alienated the 
minds of the Council from Hooper, making light of the use 
of the vestments and the like in the church, and calling 
them mere matters of indifference. Many were so convinced 
by him that they would hardly listen to Hooper's defence 
when he came into court shortly afterwards. He therefore 
requested them, that if they would not hear him speak, 
they would at least think it proper to hear and read his 
written apol(^. His request was granted: wherefore he 
delivered to the King'^s councillors, in writing, his opinion 
respecting the discontinuance of the use of vestments and 
the like puerilities. And if the Bishop cannot satisfy the 
King with other reasons, Hooper will gain the victory. We 
are daily expecting the termination of this controversy, 
which is only conducted between individuals, either by con- 
ference or by letter, for fear of any tumult being excited 


among the ignorant. Ton see in what a state of afihirs the 
Church would be if they were left to the Bishops, even to 
the best of them." 

In the end, Hooper allowed himself to be persuaded, and 
was consecrated in the uBual way. 

The advanced Reformers in England were probably 
incited to demand more freedom than the law permitted by 
the sight of the liberty enjoyed by men who were not 
Englishmen. French and German Protestants had come 
to England for refuge, and had been welcomed. The King 
had permitted them to use the Augustines' church in 
London, that they might " have the pure ministry of the 
Word and Sacraments according to the apostolic form," and 
they enjoyed their privileges. 

** We are altogether exempted by letters patent from the 
King and Councu from the jurisdiction of the Bishops. To 
each church (I mean the German and the French) are 
assigned two ministers of the Word (among whom is my 
unworthy self), over whom has been appointed super- 
intendent the most illustrious John k lasco; by whose 
aid alone, under God, we foreigners have arrived at our 
present state of pure religion. Some of the Bishops, and 
especially the Bishop of London, with certain others, are 
opposed to our design; but I hope their opposition will 
be ineffectual. The Archbishop of Canterbury, the special 
patron of foreigners, has been the chief support and 
promoter of our church, to the great astonishment of 
some." 1 

These foreigners, outside episcopal control and not 
subject to the Acts of Uniformity, enjoyed liberties of 
worship which were not granted to Englishmen. They 
. were driven out of the country when Mary succeeded ; but 
under Elizabeth and James they had the same privileges 
and .were naturally envied by the English Puritans, coerced 
by Bishops and harried by Acts of Uniformity. 

While the Beformation was being pushed forward in 

^ Original LetUrs, etc (Parker Society) u. 668, Maer&mus to BtittiHSftr 
(August 28th, 1660). 


England at a speed too great for the majority of the people, 
the King was showing the feebleness of his constitution. 
He died on the 6th of July 1553, and the collapse of the 
Beformation after his death showed the uncertainty of the 
foundation on which it had been built 







One of the last acts of the dying King had been to make 
a will regulating the succession. It was doubtless suggested 
to him by the Duke of Northumberland, but, once adopted, 
the lad clung to it with Tudor tenacity. It set aside as 
illegitimate both his sisters. It also set aside the young 
Queen of Scotland, who, failing Mary and Elizabeth, was 
the legitimate heir, being the granddaughter of Margaret, 
the eldest sister of Henry vni., and selected the Lady Jane 
Grey, the representative (eldest child of eldest child) of 
Mary, the younger sister of Henry vni. Both the Eang and 
his Council seem to have thought that the nation would 
not submit to a Roman Catholic on the throne; and 
Charles v. appears to have agreed with them. He con- 
sidered the chsmces of Mary's succession small 

The people of England, however, rallied to Mary, as the 
nearest in blood to their old monarch, who, notwithstanding 
his autocratic rule, had never lost touch with his people. 

^ SofTBCSS in additioii to those on pp. 851 : EpUiclm Meginaldi Pdli, 
8. IL E, Cardinalis, 5 vols. (Brixen, 1744-57) ; Chronicle of Queen Jane and 
of two years qf Queen Mary, and especially of the Bebellion of Sir Thomas 
Wyat, written hy a JUsiderU in the Tower </ Lmdon (Camden Society, 
London, 1850) ; Garnett, The Accession of Queen Mary ; being the con' 
temporary narrtUive of Antonio Ouaras, etc. (London, 1892). 

Later Books : Stone, His'ory of Mary /., Queen of England (London, 
1901) ; Ranke, DU rSmisehen PdpsU (Berlin, 1854) ; Hame, Visit of Philip 
II. {1664) {English HidoHcaX Review, 1892) ; Leadaro, Narrative of the 
Pursuit cf the English Refugees in Oermany under Queen Mary ( Transactions 
of Royal Historical Society, 1896) ; Wiesener, The Youth <tf Queen Elizabeth^ 
163S~68 (English translation, London, 1879); Zimmennann, Edrdinal 
Pole sein Leben und seine Sehriften (Regensbur^, 1893). 



The new Queen naturally turned to her cousin Charles 
T. for guidance. He had upheld her mother's caubc and 
her own ; and in the dark days xyhich were past, his 
Ambassador Chapujs had been her indefatigable friend. 

It was Mary's consuming desire to bring back the 
English Church and nation to obedience to Some — to 
undo the work of her father, and especially of her brother. 
The Emperor recommended caution ; he advised the Queen 
to be patient ; to watch and accommodate her policy to the 
manifestations of the feelings of her people ; to puuish the 
leaders who had striven to keep her from the throne, but 
to treat all their followers with clemency. Above all, she 
was to mark carefully the attitude of her sister Elizabeth, 
and to reorganise the finances of the country. 

Mary had released Grardiner from the Tower, and made 
him her trusted Minister. His advice in all matters, save 
that of her marriage, coincided with the Emperor'a It 
was thought that small difficulty would be found in 
restoring the Eoman Catholic religion, but that difficulties 
might arise about the papal supremacy, and especially about 
the reception of a papal Legate.* Much depended on the 
Pope. If His Holiness did not demand the restoration 
of the ecclesiastical property alienated during the last two 
reigns, and now distributed among over forty thousand 
proprietors, all might go well. 

Signs were not wanting, however, that if the people 
were almost unanimous in accepting Mary as their Queen, 
they were not united upon religion. When Dr. Gilbert 
Bourne, preaching at St. Paul's Cross (Aug. 13th, 1553) 
praised Bishop Bonner, he was interrupted by shouts ; a 
dagger was thrown at him ; he was hustled out of the 
pulpit, and his life was threatened. The tumult was only 
appeased when Bradford, a known Protestant, appealed to 
the crowd. The Lord Mayor of London was authorised to 
declare to the people that it was not the Queen's intention 
to constrain men's consciences, and that she meant 
to trust solely to persuasion to bring them to the true 



Five days later (August 18th), Meiry issited her first 
Proclamation abotU Religion^ in which she advised her 
subjects *" to live together in quiet sort and Chiistian 
charity, leaving those new-found devilish terms of papist 
or heretic and such lika" She declared that she meant to 
support that religion which she had always professed ; but 
she promised ''that she would not compel any of her 
subjects thereunto, unto such time aa further order, by 
eommon assent, may he taken therein*' — a somewhat 
significant threat The proclamation prohibited unlicensed 
preaching and printing *' any book, matter, ballad, rhyme, 
interlude, process, or treatise, or to play any interlude, 
except they have Her Grace's special licence in writing for 
the same," which makes it plain that from the outset Mary 
did not intend that any Protestant literature should be read 
by her subjects if she could help it.^ 

Mary was crowned, with great ceremony on October 1st, 
and her first Parliament met four days later (Oct. 5 th 
to Dec. 6th, 1553). It reversed a decision of a former 
Parliament, and declared that Henry vm/s marriage with 
Catharine of Aragon had- been valid, and that Mary was 
the legitimate heir to the throne ; and it wiped out idl the 
religious legislation under Edward vi. The Council had 
wished the anti-papal laws of Henry viii. to be rescinded ; 
but Parliament, especially the House of Commons, was 
not prepared for anything so sweeping. The Church of 
England was legally restored to what it had been at the 
death of Henry, and Mary was left in the anomalous 
position of being the supreme head of the Church in 
England while she herself devoutly believed in the 
supremacy of the Bishop of Boma The title and the 
powers it gave were useful to restore by royal proclama- 
tion the mediaeval ritual and worship, and Mass was 
reintroduced in this way in December.* 

Meanwhile the marriage of the Queen was being 

^ 6«e and Hardy, DoewmemU, etc. ^ 87S. 

' The Act of Parliament la printed in Gee and Hardy, hocumtmUt eto. 
p. 877. 

THE queen's IfARRIAGB S71 

dincosBed. Maiy herself decided the matter by solemnly 
promising the Spanish Ambassador (Oct. 19th) that she 
would wed Philip of Spain; the marriage treaty was 
signed on January 12th, 1554; the formal betrothal took 
place in March, and the wedding was celebrated on July 
25th.^ It was very unpopular from the first The boys 
of London pelted with snowballs the servants of the 
Spanish embassy sent to ratify the wedding treaty (Jan. 
1st, 1554); the envoys themselves were very coldly 
received by the popidace; and Mary had to issue a 
proclamation commanding that all courtesy should be used 
to the Prince of Spain and his train coming to England to 
marry the Queen.* 

Li September (1553) the pronouncedly Protestant 
Bishops who had remained in England to face the storm, 
Cranmer, Bidley, Coverdale, Latimer, were ejected and 
imprisoned; the Protestant refugees from France and 
Germany and many of the eminent Protestant leaders had 
sought safety on the Continent; the deprived Bomanist 
Bishops, Gardiner, Heath, Bonner, Day, had been reinstated; 
and the venerable Bishop Tunstall, who had acted as 
Wolsey's agent at the famous Diet of Worms, had been 
placed in the See of Durham. 

Various risings, one or two of minor importance and a 
more formidable one under Sir Thomas Wyatt, had been 
crushed. Lady Jane Grey, Lord Guilford Dudley (February 
12th, 1554), Sir Thomas Wyatt, Lord Suffolk, and others 
were executed. Charles v. strongly recommended the 
execution of the Princess Elizabeth, but his advice was not 

England was still an excommunicated land, and both 
Queen and King Consort were anxious to receive the papal 
peace. As soon as he had been informed by Mary of her 
succession to the throne, the Pope, Julius n., had selected 

^ Philip's maniages had thia peculiarity ahout them, that hia aeoond wife 
(Mary) had heeD betrothed to hia father, and hia third wife had been 
betrothed to hia son. 

* Stiype, Memoriali of Queen Mary's Beign, iii. iL 216. 


Cardinal Pole to be his Legate to England (early in August 
1653). No one could have been more suitabla He wcis 
related to the royal house of England, a grandson of the 
Duke of Clarence, who was the brother of Edward rv. He 
had so thoroughly disapproved of the anti-papal policy of 
Henry Yin. that he had been compelled to live in exile. 
He was a Cardinal, and had almost become Popa No 
one could have been more acceptable to Mary. He had 
protested against her mother's divorce, and had suffered for 
it ; and he was as anxious as she to see England restored 
to the papal obedience. But many difficulties had to be 
cleared away before Pole could land in England as the 
Pope's Legate. The English people did not love Legates, 
and their susceptibilities had to be soothed. If the Pope 
made the restoration of the Church lands a condition of the 
restoration of England to the papal obedience, and if Mary 
insisted on securing that obedience, there would be a 
rebellion, and she would lose her crown. No one knew all 
these difficulties better than the Emperor, and he exerted 
himself to overcome them. The Curia was persuaded that, 
as it was within the Canon Law to alienate ecclesiastical 
property for the redemption of prisoners, the Church might 
give up her claims to the English abbey lands in order to 
win back the whole kingdom. Pole himself had doubts 
about this. He believed that he might be allowed to 
reason with the lay appropriators and persuade them to 
make restoration, and his enthusiasm on the subject caused 
many misgivings in the minds of both Charles and Philip 
Nor could the Cardinal land in England until his attainder 
as an English nobleman had been reversed by Parliament. 
He had been appointed Legate to England once before 
(February 7th, 1536), in order to compass Henry viil's 
return to the papal obedience ; he had written against the 
Boyal Supremacy. Neither Lords nor Commons were very 
anxious to receive him. 

At last, more than thirteen months after his appoint* 
ment, the way was open for his coming to England. He 
landed at Dover (Nov. 20th, 1554), went on to Gravesend, 


and there found waiting him an Act of Parliament revers- 
ing his attainder. It had been introduce into the Lords, 
passed in the Upper House in two days, was read three 
times in the Commons in one day, and received the 
Eoyal Assent immediately thereafter (Nov. 27th, 1554). 
Tnnstall, the Bidiop of Durham, brought him letters 
patent, empowering him to exercise his office of Legate 
in England. He embarked in a royal barge with his 
silver cross in the prow, sailed up the Thames on a 
favouring tide, landed at Whitehall, and was welcomed 
by Mary and Philip. On the following day the two 
Houses of Parliament were invited to the Palace to meet 
him, and he explained his commission. The day after, 
the question was put in both Houses of Parliament 
whether the nation should return to the papal obedience, 
and was answered affirmatively. Whereupon Lords and 
Commons joined in a supplication to the Queen ''that 
they might receive absolution, and be received into the 
body of the Holy Catholic Church, under the Pope, the 
Supreme Head thereof." The Supplication was presented 
on the 30 th, and in its terms the Queen besought the 
Legate to absolve the realm for its disobedience and 
schism. Then, while the whole assembly knelt, King 
and Queen on their knees with the others, the Legate 
pronounced the absolution, and received the kingdom 
"again into the unity of our Mother the Holy 

It now remained to Parliament to pass the laws which 
the change required. In one comprehensive statute all 
the anti-papal legislation of the reigns of Henry vin. and 
of Edward vi. was rescinded, and England was, so far as 
laws could make it,^ what it had been in the reign of 
Henry vn. Two -days later (Dec 2nd, 1554), on the 
first Sunday in Advent, Philip and Mary, with the Legate, 
attended divine service in St. Paul's, and after Mass 
listened to an eloquent sermon from Bishop Gardiner, 
in the course of which he publicly abjured the teaching 

^ Oee and Hardy, DoeumenU, etc. p. 886. 


of his book De vera cbedientia} Convocation received a 
special absolution . from the Legate To show how 
thoroughly England had reconciled itself to Mother 
Church, Parliament proceeded to revive the old Acts 
against heresy which had been originally passed for the 
suppression of Lollardy, among them the notorious De 
hctretico eomburendo, and England had again the privilege 
of burning Evangelical Christians secured to it by Act of 

In March 1554 the Queen had issued a series of 
Injunctions to all Bishops, instructing them on a variety 
of matters, all tending to bring the Church into the 
condition in which it had been before the innovations of 
the late reign. The Bishops were to put into execution 
all canons and ecclesiastical laws which were not expressly 
contrary to the statutes of the realm. They were not to 
inscribe on any of their ecclesiastical documents the 
phrase regia auctoritate fuldtus; they were to see that 
no heretic was admitted to any ecclesiastical office ; they 
were to remove all married priests, and to insist that 
every person vowed to celibacy was to be separated from 
his wife if he had married ; they were to observe all the 
holy days and ceremonies which were in use in the later 
days of the reign of King Henry viii. ; aU schoolmasters 
suspected of heresy were to be removed from their office. 
These Injunctions kept carefully within the lines of the 
Act which had rescinded the ecclesiastical legislation of 
the reign of Edward VL* The Bishop of London, Bonner, 
had previously issued a list of searching questions to be 
put to the clergy of his diocese, which concerned the 

^ In the days of Henry viii., Bishop Gardiner had published a book 
nnder this title, in which the papal jurisdiction in England was strongly 
repudiated. Someone, probably Bale, when Gardiner was aiding the Queen 
to restore that supremacy, had translated the book into English, and hjul 
printed at the bottom of the title-page, **A double-minded man is in- 
constant in aU his ways." 

' Gee and Hardy, Documents, eto. p. 884. The Act de hcareiieo 
burendo will be found on p. 188. 

> Ibid. p. 880. 


Ijdty as well as the clergy, and which went a good deal, 
further. He asked whether there were any married 
clergymen, or clergymen who had not separated themselves 
from their wives or concubines ? Whether any of the 
clergy maintained doctrines contrary to the Catholic 
faith? Whether any of the clergy had been irr^ularly 
or schismatically ordained? Whether any of them had 
said Mass or administered the sacraments in the English 
language after the Queen's proclamation ? Whether they 
kept all the holy days and fasting days prescribed by the 
Church ? Whether any of the clergy went about in other 
than full clerical dress ? Whether any persons in the 
parish spoke in favour of clerical marriage? These and 
many other minute questions were put, with the evident 
intention of restoring the mediaeval ceremonies and 
customs in every detail^ His clergy assured the Bishop 
that it was impossible to make all the changes he 
demanded at once, and Bonner was obliged to give them 
till the month of November to get their parishes in order. 
This London visitation evidently provoked a great deal 
of discontent. In April (1654) *' a dead cat was hung on 
the gallows in the Cheap, habited in garments like those 
of a priest It had a shaven crown, and held in its fore- 
paws a round piece of paper to represent a wafer. ... A 
reward of twenty marks was offered for the discovery 
of the author of the outrage, but it was quite inefifectuaL" ' 
Other graver incidents showed the smouldering discontent. 
The revival in Parliament of the old anti-heresy laws 
may be taken as the time clearly foreshadowed in the 
Queen's first proclamation on religious affairs when per- 
suasion was to cease and force take its place. The 
platitudes of many modem historians about Mary's 
humane and merciful disposition, about Gardiner's aversion 
to shedding blood, about ** the good Bishop " Bonner*8 

1 Bonner's Artides of Inqniry an printed in Strype's Hidorkal 
M^mariaU, EceUsiattieal and Civil, eto. iii. ii. p. 217. 

* Chuidner's TlU JSnglish Church ^ the Sixteenth Century, etc. (London, 
1902) p. SS9. 


benevolent attempt to persuade his victims to recant, 
may be dismissed from our minda The fact remains, 
that the persecutions which began in 1555 were clearly 
indicated in 1553, and went on with increasing severity 
until the Queen's death put an end to them. 

The visitations had done their work, and the most 
eminent of the Beformed bishops and divines had been 
caught and secured in various prisons. '' The Tower, the 
Fleet, the Marshalsea, the King's Bench, Newgate, and the 
two Counters were full of them."^ Their treatment 
differed. ** The prisoners in the King's Bench had toler- 
ably fair usage, and Favour sometimes shown them. There 
was a pleasant garden belonging thereunto, where they 
had liberty sometimes to walk." They had also the 
liberty of meeting for worship, as had the prisoners in the 
Marshalsea. Their sympathisers who had escaped the search 
kept them supplied with food, as did the early Christians 
their suffering brethren in the first centuries. But in some 
of the other prisons the confessors were not only confined 
in loathsome cells, but suffered terribly from lack of food. 
At the end of Strype's catalogue of the two hundred 
and eighty-eight persons who were burnt during the 
reign of Mary, he significantly adds, " besides those that 
dyed of famyne in sondry prisons."* Some of the im- 
prisoned were able to draw up (May 8th, 1654) and 
send out for circulation a confession of their faith, meant 
to show that they were suffering simply for holding and 
proclaiming what they believed to be scriptural truth. 
They declared that they believed all the canonical books 
of Scripture to be God's very Word, and that it was to 
be the judge in all controversies of faith; that the 
Catholic Church was the Church which believed and 
followed the doctrines taught in Scripture; that they 
accepted the Apostles' Creed and the decisions of the 
first four (Ecumenical Councils and of the Council of 
Toledo, as well as the teachings of Athana.siu8, Irenseus, 

* Strjpe, Memorials, Ecclesiastical and Civil, etc. ill. i. 221, 228. 
« Ibid. III. ii 656. 


Tertullian, and Damasus ; that they believed that justifica- 
tion came through the mercy of God, and that it was 
received by none but by faith only, and that faith was 
not an opinion, but a persuasion wrought by the Holy 
Ghost; they declared that the external service of God 
ought to be according to God's Word, and conducted in 
a language which the people could understand; they 
confessed that God only by Jesus Christ is to be prayed 
to, and therefore disapproved of the invocation of the 
saints ; they disowned Purgatory and Masses for the dead ; 
they held that Baptism and the Lord's Supper were the 
Sacraments instituted by Christ, were to be administered 
according to the institution of Christ, and disallowed the 
mutilation of the sacrament, the theory of transubstantia- 
tion, and the adoration of the bread.^ This was signed 
by Ferrar, Hooper, Coverdale (Bishops), by Bogers (the 
first martyr), by Bradford, Philpot, Crome, Saunders, and 
others. John Bradford, the single-minded, gentle scholar, 
was probably the author of the Confession. 

Cardinal Pole, in his capacity as papal Legate, issued 
a commission (Jan. 28th, 1555) to Bishop Gardiner and 
several others to try the prisoners detained for heresy. 
Then followed (Feb. 4th, 1655) the burning of John 
Bogers, to whom Tyndale had entrusted his translation 
of the Scriptures, and who was the real compiler of the 
Bible known as Matthews'. The scenes at his execution 
might have warned the authorities that persecution was 
not going to be persuasive. Crowds cheered him as he 
passed to his death, " as if he were going to his wedding," 
the French Ambassador reported. His fate excited a 
strong feeling of sympathy among almost all classes in 
society, which was ominous. Even Simon Benard, the 
trusted envoy of Charles v., took the liberty of warning 
Philip that less extreme measures ought to be used. But 
the worst of a persecuting policy is that when it has 
once begun it is almost impossible to give it up with- 
out confession of defeat. Bishop Hooper was sent to 

^ Strype, Memorials, Eeekaiattieal and OivU, etc. iii. I 222, iii. ii. 224, 


Gloucester to saSet in his cathedral town, Saunders to 
CoYcntrj, and Dr. Taylor was burnt on Aldham Common 
in Suffolk. Several other martyrs suffered the same fate 
of burning a few days afterwards. 

Bobert Ferrar, the Beformed Bishop of St David's, was 
sent to Carmarthen to be burnt in the chief town of his 
diocese (March 30th, 1555). Perhaps it was his death 
that gave rise to the verses in Welsh, exhorting the men 
of the Principality to rise in defence of their religion 
against the English who were bent on its destruction, and 
calling them to extirpate image worship and the use of 
the crucifix^ 

Bishops Bidley and Latimer and Archbishop Cranmer 
had been kept in confinement at Oxford since April 1654; 
emd they were now to be proceeded against. The two 
Bishops were brought before the Court acting on a com- 
mission from Cardinal Pole, the Legate. They were con- 
demned on Oct. Ist, 1555, and on the 16th they were 
burnt at Oxford in the present Broad Street before Balliol 
College. Cranmer witnessed their death from the top of 
the tower in which he was confined. 

In the Archbishop's case it was deemed necessary, in 
order to fulfil the requirements of Canon Law, that he 
should be tried by the Pope himself. He was accordingly 
informed that his sovereigns had ** denounced " him to the 
Pope, and that His Holiness had commissioned the Cardinal 
Du Puy, Prefect of the Inquisition, to act on his behalf, 
and that Du Puy had delegated the duty to James Brooks, 
who had succeeded Hooper as Bishop of Gloucester, to the 
Dean of St. Paul's, and to the Archdeacon of Canterbury. 
The trial took place in St Mary's Church. The accusers, 
Philip and Mary, were represented by Drs. Martyn and 
Story. They, in the name of their sovereigns, presented 
a lengthy indictment, in ' which the chief charges were 
adultery, perjury, and heresy. The first meant that 
although a priest he had been married, and had even 

1 Calendar ^ SUite Papers, Domeetie Series, <^ the Reign qf EUaabeth^ 
1601-8; with Addenda, 1647-66 (London, 1870), p. 488. 

crakmer's trial 379 

married a second time after he had been made an Arch- 
bishop; the second, that he had sworn obedience to the 
Pope and broken his oath; and the third, that he had 
denied the doctrine of transubstantiation.^ 

Granmer refused to acknowledge the jurisdiction of his 
judges, but answered the charges brought against him to 
his accusers because they represented his sovereigns. He 
denied that the Pope had any ecclesiastical power within 
England ; but submitted to the kingly supremacy. As Brooks 
had no authority from the Pope to do more than hear the 
case, no judgment was pronounced ; it was only intimated 
that the proceedings would be reported to Eoma Granmer 
was conducted back to his prison. There he addressed 
first one, then a second letter to the Queen.' In dignified 
and perfectly respectful language he expressed the degra- 
dation of the kingdom exhibited in the act of the sovereignff 
appealing to an " outward judge, or to an authority coming 
from any person out of this realm " to judge between them 
and one of their own subject& Granmer early in his 
career had come to the unalterable opinion that the papal 
supremacy was responsible for the abuses and disorders in 
the mediaeval Ghurch, and that reformation was impossible 
so long as it was maintained. In common with every 
thoughtful man of his generation, he repudiated the whole 
structure of papal claims built up by the Roman Guria 
during the fifteenth century, and held that it was in every 
way incompatible with the loyalty which every subject 
owed to his sovereign and to the laws of his. country. He 
took his stand on this convictibn. 

" Ignorance, I know," he said, ** may excuse other men ; 
but he that knoweth how prejudicial and injurious the 
power and authority which the Pope challengeth everywhere 
is to the Grown, laws, and customs of this realm, and yet 
wiU allow the same, I cannot see in anywise how he can 

^ An accouut of Cranmer's trial is given in Foze, AeUand MoTwrnefUi 
(London, 1851), iii. 656 jT. The process is in Cramner's Mitullaneoua Writ' 
ings and LeUers (Parker Society), pp. 641 ff, 

* Cnuuner's fTorib, ii. 447/. 


keep his due all^^iance, fidelity, and truth to the Crown and 
state of this realm." 

In his second letter he struck a bolder note, and de- 
clared that the oath which Mary had sworn to maintain 
the laws, liberties, and customs of the realm was incon- 
sistent with the other oath she had taken to obey* the 
Pope, to defend his person, and to maintain his authority, 
honour, laws, and privilegea The accusation of perjury 
did not touch him at alL The sovereigns — Bishop Brooks, 
appointed to try him— -every constituted authority in the 
realm — when confronted by it, had to choose between the 
oath of allegiance to country or to Papacy ; he had chosen 
allegiance to bis fatherland ; others who acted differently 
betrayed it. That was his position. The words he 
addressed to Queen Mary — ** I fear me that there be con- 
tradictions in your oath " — was his justification. 

At Rome, Granmer was found guilty of contumacy, and 
the command went forth that he was to be deposed, de- 
graded, and punished as a heretic. In the meantime he 
was burnt in effigy at Roma When he heard his sentence, 
he composed an Appeal to a General Ck>uncil, following, 
he said, the example of Luther.^ The d^radation waa 
committed to Bonner and Thirlby, and was executed by 
the former with his usual brutality. This done, he was 
handed over to the secular authorities for execution. Then 
began a carefully prepared course of refined mental tor- 
ture, which i-esulted in the ''Recantations of Thomas 
Cranmer."' A series of recantations was presented to 
him, which he was ordered to sign by his sovereign ; and, 
strange as it may seem now, it was the sovereign's command 
that made it almost impossible for Cranmer to refuse to 
sign the papers which, one after another, were given him, 
He was a « man who felt the necessity of an ultimate 
authority. He had deliberately put aside that of the Pope, 
and as deliberately placed that of the sovereign in its 
place; and now the ultimate authority, which his con- 

> IFarks, n. pp. 445-66. 

* MidcellaneouM WrUing9, etc. (Parker Society) p. MS. 

oranmer's marttrdom 881 

sdenoe approved, commanded him to sign. The first four 
were not real recantations ; Cranmer could sign them with 
a good conscience ; they consisted of generalities, the efifect 
of which depended on the meaning of the terms used, and 
everyone knew the meanings which he had attached to the 
words all throughout his public life. But the fifth and 
the sixth soiled his conscience and occasioned his remorse. 
It was not enough for Mary, Pole, and Bonner that they 
were able to destroy by fire the bodies of English Re- 
formers, they hoped by working partly on the conscience 
and partly on the weakness of the leader of the English 
Keformation, to show the worthlessness of the whole move- 
ment. In the end, the aged martyr redeemed his momen- 
tary weakness by a last act of heroism. He knew that 
his recantations had been published, and that any further 
declaration made would probably be suppressed by his un- 
scrupulous antagonists. He resolved by a single action to 
defeat their calculations and stamp his sincerity on the 
memories of his countrymen. His dying speech was 
silenced, as he might well have expected; but he had 
made up his mind to something which could not be 

^ At the moment he was taken to the stake he drew from 
his bosom the identical paper (the recantation), throwing it, 
in the presence of the multitude, with his own hands into 
the flames, asking pardon of God and of the people for 
having consented to such an act, which he excused by say- 
ing that he did it for the public benefit, as, had his life, 
which he sought to save, been spared him, he might at some 
time have still been of use to them, praying them all to per- 
sist in the doctrines believed by him, and absolutely denying 
the Sacrament and the supremacy of the Church. And, 
finally, stretching forth his arm and right hand, he said : 
' This which hath sinned, having signed the writing, must 
be the first to suffer punishment ' ; and thus did he place it 
in the fire and burned it himself."' 

^ Pollard, Onrnmer^ pp. 867-81. 

* OaltndaT of SUUe Papers and MSS. existing in the Archives and CcXUc' 
Hons ef Veniu, 1666-66^ p. 886. 


If the martTidomB of Bidley and Latimer lighted the 
torch, Cranmer's spread the conflagration which in the 
end burnt up tiie Bomanist reaction and made England a 
Protestant nation. The very weakness of the aged Primate 
became a backgromid to make the clearer his final heroism. 
The '' common man " sympathised with him all the mora 
He had never been a very strong man in the usual sense 
of the words. The qualities which go to form the exquisite 
liturgist demand an amount of religious sensibility and 
sympathy which seldom belongs to the leader of a minority 
with the present against it and the future before it. His 
peculiar kind of courage, which enabled him to face Henry 
vm. in his most truculent moods, was liker a woman's than 
a man's, and was especially called forth by sympathy with 
others in suffering. None of Henry's Ministers pleaded 
harder or more persistently for the Princess Mary, the 
woman who burnt him, than did Cranmer ; and he alone 
of all his fellows dared to beseech the monarch for Crom- 
well in his falL^ 

The death of Cranmer was followed by a long succes- 
sion of martyrdoms. Cardinal Pole became the Archbishop 
of Canterbury, and in Philip's absence the principal adviser 
of the Queen. He did not manage, if he tried, to stop the 
burnings. Sometimes he rescued prisoners from the vindic- 
tive Bonner ; at others he seems to have hounded on the 
persecutors. Mary's conscience, never satisfied at the 
confiscation of property, compelled her to restore the lands 
still in possession of the Crown, and to give up the " first 
fruits" of English benefices — ^the only result being to 
awaken the fears of thousands of proprietors, and set them 
against the papal claims. She attempted to restore the 
monastic institutions, with but scanty results; to revive 
pilgrimages to shrines, which were very forced affairs, and 
had to be kept alive by fining the parents of children 
who did not join them. The elevation of Pope Paul iv. 
(Cardinal Cajraffa) to the See of Home increased her 
difficulties. The new Pontiff, a Neapolitan, hated her 

^ PoUard, Cranmtr^ p. 828. 


Spanish husband, and personally disliked Cardinal Pole, 
her chief adviser. Her last years were full of 

Mary died in 1558 (Nov. 17th). ''The unhappiest 
of queens, and wives, and women/' she had been bom 
amidst the rejoicings of a nation, her mother a princess of 
the haughtiest house in Europe. In her girlhood she had 
been the bride-elect of the Emperor — a lovely, winning 
young creature, all men say. In her seventeenth year, at 
the age when girls are most sensitive, the crushing stroke 
which blasted her whole life fell upon her. Her father, 
the Parliament, and the Church of her country called her 
illegitimate ; and thus branded, she was sent into solitude 
to brood over her disgraca When almost all England 
hailed her Queen in her thirty-seventh year, she was 
already an old woman, with sallow face, harsh voice, her 
dark bright eyes alone telling how beautiful she had once 
been. But the nation seemed to love her who had been 
so long yearning for afifection ; she married the man of her 
choice; and she felt herself the instrument selected by 
Heaven to restore an excommimicated nation to the peace 
of God. Her husband, whom she idolised, tired of living 
with her after a few years. The child she passionately 
longed for and pathetically believed to be coming never 
€»kme.^ The Church and the Pope she had sacrificed so 
much for, disregarded her entreaties, and seemed careless 
of her troubles. The people who had welcomed her, and 
whom she really loved, called her "Bloody" Mary, — a 
name which was, after all, so well deserved that it will 

' There are few more pAthetio docnmente among the State Papers than 
thoee thns catalogued : 

'* King Philip and Queen Mary to Cardinal Pole, notifying that the Queen 
lias been delivered of a Prince." 

" Passport signed by the King and Queen for Sir Henry Sydney to go 
orer to the King of the Romans and the King of Bohemia, to announce the 
Queen's happy delivery of a Prince." 

There are several such notifications all ready for the birth which never 
took place. Calendar of State Papen, Domubic Series, of the Beigns ^ 
Mwturd F/., Mary, Slizdbeth, 1S47-S0 JJjondon, 1856), p. 67. 


always remain. Each disappointment she took as a 
warning from Heaven that atonement had not yet been* 
paid for England's crimes, and the fires of persecution were 
kept burning to appease the God of sixteenth century 



Mart Tudor's health had long been frail, and when it was 
known for certain that she would leave no direct heir (i,e, 
from about June 1558), the people of England were silently 
coming to the conclusion that Elizabeth must be Queen, or 
civil war would result. It seemed also to be assumed that 
she would be a Protestant, and that her chief adviser would 

^ SoUBOXS : Calendar of State Papers, Mizabeth, Foreign (London, 1863, 
etc. ) ; Calendar of StaJte Papers relating to Scotland and Mary Queen of Scots 
(Edinburgh, 1898, eta) ; Calendar of State Papers, Halfield MSS. (London, 
1888); Calendar of StaU Papers, Fenetian, 1668-80 (London, 1890); 
Calendar of State Papers, Sf^anish, 1668-67 (London, 1892); Weiss, 
Papiers d^itat du Cardinal Granvelle, vols, iv.-yi. (ParlH, 1848-46) ; 
BuUarium Jtomanum, for two BuUs — the one of 1559 (i. 840) and the one 
deposing Elizabeth (ii. 824) ; A Collection of Original Letters from the Bishops 
to the Privy Council, 1664 (▼ol. ix. of the Camden Miscellany, London, 
1893) ; Calvin* s Letters (vols. xxxyiii.-xlviii. of the Corpus Beformaiorum) ; 
Zwrieh Letters (two series) (Parker Society, Cambridge, 1853) ; Liturgies 
and oeeasional Forms of Prayer set forth in the Beign qf Queen Elizabeth 
(Parker Society, Cambridge, 1847) ; Dysen, Queene Elizabeth* s Prodama- 
/ion (1618). 

Later Books : Oeighton, Queen Elizabeth (London, 1896) ; Hume, The 
Courtships <^ Queen Elizabeth (London, 1896) ; and The great Lord BurgMey 
(London, 1898) ; Philippson, La eontre-r^volution religieuae (BrusseL^ 
1884) ; Bnble, Le traiU de Cateau-CamJbrisis (Paris, 1889) ; Gee, The 
Elizabethan Clergy (Oxford, 1898) ; and The Elizabethan Prayer-Book and 
Ornaments (London, 1902) ; Tomlinson, ITie Prayer-Book, Articles and 
Homilies (London, 1897) ; Hard wick, History of the Articles of Beligum 
(Cambridge, 1859) ; Lorimer, John Knox and the Church qf England 
(London, 1875) ; Neal, History of the Pwritans (London, 1754) ; Parker, 
The Ornaments Bubric (Oxford, 1881) ; Shaw, Elizabethan Presbyterianivm 
{English Historical Beview, iii. 655) ; Cambridge Modem History, ii. 550 jf. ; 
Frere, History of the English Church in the JUigns qf Elizabeth and James^ 
16S8-1626 (London, 1904). 


be William Cecil, who had been trained in statecraft as 
secretary to England's greatest statesman, the Lord Pro- 
tector Somerset So it fell out. 

Many things contributed to create such expectations. 
The young intellectual life of England was slowly becoming 
Protestant Both the Spanish ambassadors noticed this 
with alarm, and reported it to their master.^ This was 
especially the case among the young ladies of the upper 
classes, who were becoming students learned in Latin, 
Greek, and Italian, and at the same time devout Protestants, 
with a distinct leaning to what afterwards became Puritan- 
ism. Elizabeth herself, at her most impressionable age had 
been the pupil of Bishop Hooper, who was accustomed to 
praise her intelligence. ''In religious matters she has 
been saturated ever since she was bom in a bitter hatred 
to our faith," said the Bishop of Aquila.^ The common 
people had been showing their hatred of Bomanism, and 
"images and religious persons were treated disrespect- 
fully." It .was observed that Elizabeth "was very much 
wedded to the people and thinks as they do," and that 
"her attitude was much more gracious to the common 
people than to other&" • The burnings of the Protestant 
martyrs, and especially the execution of Cranmer, had 
stirred the indignation of the populace of London and the 
south counties against Romanism, and the feelings were 
spreading throughout the country. All classes of the 
people hated the entire subjugation of English interests to 
those of Spain during the late reign, just as the people of 
Scotland at" the same time were growing weary of French 
domination imder Mary of Lorraine, and Elizabeth shared 
the feeling of her peopla* 

Yet there was so much in the political condition of 
the times to make both Elizabeth and Cecil pause before 

^ Calendar of Letters and State Papers relating to Bngluh Affairs^ 
served principally in the Archives of Simancas (London, 1892), i. p. 7. 

' IHd, p. S9. In the same letter the Bishop blames the instrnotions of 
the " Italian heretic Man," Peter Martyr Vermigli and Oohino ; ot 
p. 81. 

* Ibid. pp. 1, 4, 6, etc « Ibid, pp. 8, 77. 


committing themselves to the Beformation, that it is 
necessary to believe that religious conviction had a great 
influence in determining their action. England was not 
the powerful nation in 1558-60 which it became after 
twenty years under the rule of the great Queen. The 
agrarian troubles which had disturbed the three reigns of 
Henry vm., Edward, and Mary had not died out The 
coinage was still as debased as it had been in the closing 
years of Henry vm. Trade was stagnant, and the country 
was suffering from a two years' visitation of the plague. 
The war with France, into which England had been 
dragged by Spain, had not merely drained the country of 
men and money, but was bringing nothing save loss of 
territory and damage to prestige. Nor was there much 
to be hoped from foreign aid. The Bomanist reaction was 
in ftill swing throughout Europe, and the fortunes of the 
continental Protestants were at their lowest ebb. It was 
part of the treaty of Cateau-Cambr^sis (April 1559) that 
France and Spain should unite to crush the Protestantism 
of the whole of Europe^ and the secret treaty between 
Philip IL and Catherine de' Medici in 1565 ^ showed that 
such a design was thought possible of accomplishment 
during the earlier years of Elizabeth. It was never 
wholly abandoned until the defeat of the Armada in 1588. 
Cecil's maxim, that the Beformation could not be crushed 
until England had been conquered, had for its corollary 
that the conquest of England must be the prime object of 
the Bomanist sovereigns who were bent on bringing Europe 
back to the obedience of Boma The determination to 
take the Protestant side added to the insecurity of 
Elizabeth's position in the earlier years of her reign. She 
was, in the opinion of the Pope and probably of all the 
European Powers, Bomanist and Protestant, illegitimate; 
and heresy combined with bastardy was a terrible weapon 
in the hands of Henry n. of France, who meant to support 
the claims of his daughter-in-law, the young Queen of 

^ Calendar qfLetUrs and StcUe Pap$n rdating to Engliiik Ajfaif% etc., 
IntroductioD, p. Iv. 


Scots, — ^undoubtedlj the lawful heir in the eyes of all who 
believed that Heniy vm. had been lawfully married to 
Catharine of Aragon. The Spanish Ambassador, Count de 
Feria, tried to fi*ighten Elizabeth by reminding her how, 
in consequence of a papal excommunication, Navarre had 
been seized by the King of Spain.^ His statement to his 
master, that at her accession two-thirds of the English 
people were Bomanists,' may be questioned (he made 
many miscalculations), but it is certain that England was 
anything but a united Protestant nation. Still, who knew 
what trouble Philip might have in the Netherlands, and 
the Lords of the Congregation might be encouraged enough 
to check French designs on England through Scotland.' 
At the worst, Philip of Spain would not like to see 
England wholly in the grip of France. The Queen and 
Cecil made up their minds to take the risk, and England 
was to be I^otestant and defy the Pope, from "whom 
nothing was to be feared but evil will, cursing, and 

Paul IV., it was said, was prepared to receive the news 
of Elizabeth's succession favourably, perhaps under con- 
ditions to guarantee her legitimacy; but partly to his 
astonishment, and certainly to his wrath, he was not even 
officially informed of her accession, and the young Queen's 
ambassador at Bome was told that she h;id no need for 
him there. 

The changes at home, however, were made with all due 
caution. In Elizabeth's first proclamation an " et cetera " 
veiled any claim to be the Head of the Church,^ and 
her earliest meddling with ecclesiastical matters was to 
forbid all contentious preaching.* The statutory religion 
(Bomanist) was to be maintained for the meantime. No 

^ Calendar qf Letters and StaU Papers relating to English Jffairs, etc 
p. 62. 

> Ibid. pp. 89, 67 ; of. 88. 

* Cf. Device in Gee's Elizahetkan Prayer- Book, p. 197. 

* Strype, Annals qf the Reformation and EttahlifhrnfiU of Bdigion, etc 
(Oxford, 1824) I. ii. 389. 

* Gee and Hardy, Documents, etc p. 416. 

ooderick's advice 889 

official proclamation was made foreshadowing coming 

Elizabeth, however, did not need to depend on proclama- 
tions to indicate to her people the path she meant to tread. 
She graciously accepted the Bible presented to her on her 
entry into London, clasped it to her bosom, and pressed it 
to her lips. Her hand ostentatiously shrank from the kiss of 
Bonner the persecutor. The great lawyer, Goderick, pointed 
out ways in which Protestant feeling might find vent in a 
legal manner: 

'* In the meantime Her Majesty and all her subjects may 
by licence of law use the English Litany and suifrageis used 
in King Henry's time, and besides Her Majesty in her closet 
may use the Mass without lifting up the Host according to 
the ancient canons, and may also have at every Mass some 
communicants with the ministers to be used in both kinds." ^ 

The advice was acted upon, improved upon. '' The affairs 
of religion continue as usual," says the Venetian agent 
(Dec. 17th, 1558), "but I hear that at Court when the 
Queen is present a priest officiates, who says certain 
prayers with the Litanies in English, after the fashion of 
King Edward." ' She went to Mass, but asked the Bishop 
officiating not to elevate the Host for adoration ; and when 
he refused to comply, she and her ladies swept out of 
church immediately after the Gospel was read.' Parlia- 
ment was opened in the usual manner with the per- 
formance of Mass, but the Queen did not appear until it 
was over; and then her procession was preceded by a 
choir which sang hymns in English. When the Abbot of 
Westminster met her in ecclesiastical procession with the 
usual candles sputtering in the hands of his clergy, the 

^ Goderick's Dv9€t$ PoinU of Rdigitm ootUrary to the Church of Rome is 
printed by Dr. Qee in the appendix to hia Elizahethan Prayer-Book and 
OmamenU (London, 1902), pp. 202/1 ; the sentence quoted is on p. 205 ; 
the document is also in Dixon's Hiaiory of the Church qf England, v. 28. 

* Venetian Staie Papers, 1558-SO, 1. 

' Calendar of Letters and Stale Papers relating to English Affairs, pre* 
ehiefiy in the Archives qf Simanccts, i. 17, 25. 


Queen shouted, ** Away with these torches, we have light 
enough^' ^ 

She was crowned on January 15th, 1569 ; but whether 
with aU the customary ceremonies, it is impossible to say ; 
it is most likely that she did not communicata^ The 
Bishops swore fealty in the usual way, but were chary of 
taking any official part in the coronation of one so plainly 
a heretic. Later in the day, Dr. Cox, who had been King 
Edward's tutor, and was one of the returned refugees, 
preached before the Queen. As early as Dec 14th 
(1558) the Spanish Ambassador could report that the 
Queen "is every day standing up against religion 
(Bomanism) more openly," and that " all the heretics who 
had escaped are beginning to flock back again from 
Germany/' • 

When Convocation met it became manifest that the 
clergy would not help the Government in the proposed 
changes. They declared in favour of transubstantiation 
and of the sacrifice of the Mass, and against the royal 
supremacy The Eeformation. it was seen, must be carried 
through by the civil power exclusively ; and it was somewhat 
difficult to forecast what Parliament would consent to do. 

What was actually done is still matter of debate, but 
it seems probable that the Government presented at least 
three Bill& The first was withdrawn ; the second was 
wrecked by the Queen withholding her Boyal Assent ; the 
third resulted in the Act of Supremacy and in the Act of 
Uniformity. It is most likely that the first and second 
Bills, which did not become law, included in one propo^d 
Act of legislation the proposals of the Government about 
the Queen's Supremacy and about Uniformity of Public 
Worship.^ The first was introduced into the House of 

^ Calendar of State PaperSf Domestic Series, of the Reigns of Bdward VI., 
Mary, and Elizabeth (London, 1856), i. 128. 

' Calendar qf Letters and State Papers relating to Bnglitih Ajfairs, pre* 
served chiefly in the Archives of Simancas, L 25. 

» Ibid, pp. 7, 12. 

* English Historical Heview for Jnly 1908, pp. 617/. ; Dublin Review, 
Jan. 1908 ; The Church IiUelligencer, Sept 1908, pp. 134/ 


Commotis on Feb. 9th (1559)» was discuBsed there Feb. 
13th to 16th, and then withdrawn. A "new" BiU "for 
the supremacy annexed to the Crown " was introduced in 
the Commons on Feb. 21st, passed the third reading on 
the 25th, and was sent to the Lords on the 27th.^ 

The majority in the House of Commons was Protestant ; ' 
but the Marian Bishops had great influence in the House 
of Lords, and it was there that the Government proposals 
met with strong opposition. Dr. Jewel describes the 
situation in a letter to Peter Martyr (March 20th) : 

** The bishops are a great hindrance to us ; for being, as 
you know, among the nobility and leading men in the 
Upper House, ana having none there on our side to expose 
their artifices and confute their falsehoods, they reign as 
sole monarchs in the midst of ignorant and weak men, and 
easily overreach our little party, either by their numbers 
or their reputation for leammg. The Queen, meanwbfle, 
though she openly favours our cauee, yet is wonderfully 
afraid of allowing any innovationa" ' 

The Bill (Bill No. 2— the "new" BiU), which had passed 
the Commons on the 25th, was read for the first time in 
the Lords on the 28 th, passed the second reading on March 
1 3th, and was referred to a Committee consisting of the Duke 
of Norfolk, the Bishops of Exeter and Carlisle, and Lords 
Winchester, Westmoreland, Shrewsbmy, Butland, Sussex, 
Pembroke, Montagu, Clinton, Morley, Eich, Willoughby, 
and North. They evidently made . such alterations on the 
Bill as to make that part of it at least which enforced a 
radical change in public worship useless for the purpose of 

^ Gf. TomlinsoD, " SHzabethan Prayer- Book : olironological table of its 
enactment," in Chureh GfazeUe for Oot. 1906, p. 238. 

' Dfiblin JRetfiew, Jan. 1908, p. 48 9» : "Ad quern eundem locum (House 
of Commons) isti convenerunt (ut communis fertur opiuio) ad numerum 
dnoentomm viromm, et non decern oatholioi inter illos sunt roperti." 

^^urithLeUerSfi. 10 (Parker Society, Cambridge, 1842); cf. Calmdar 
tf LtUen and State Papers relating to English Affairs^ jtreserved principally 
in (hs Archives cf Simaiicas, 1668-67 ^ p. 88 : ''To-morrow it (the Bill) goes 
to the Upper House, where the bishops and some otliers are ready to die 
rather than consent to it" 


the Government. The dearest accoimt of what the Lords 
did is contained in a letter of a person who signs 
himself " II Schifanoya," which is preserved in the State 
Archives in Mantua.^ He says : 

'* Parliament, which ought to have ended last Saturday, 
was prolonged till next Wednesday in Passion Week, and 
according to report they will return a week after Easter 
(March 26, 1559) ; which report I believe, because of the 
three principal articles the first alone passed, viz. to give 
the supremacy of the Anglican Church to the Queen ... 
notwithstanding the opposition of the bishops, and of the 
chief lords and barons of this kingdom; but the Earls of 
Arundel and Derby, who are very good Christians, absented 
themselves from indisposition, feigned, as some think, to 
avoid consulting about such ruin of this realm. 

The Earl of Pembroke, the Earl of Shrewsbury, Viscount 
Montage and Lord Hastings did not fail in their duty, like 
true smdiers of Christ, to resist the Commons, whom they 
compelled to modify a book passed by ths Commons forbidding 
the Mass to be said or the Communion to be administered {ne 
se eommunicassero) except at the table in the m/inmr of 
Edward VL ; nor were the Divine offices to be performed in 
church; priests likewise being allowed to marry, and the 
Christian religion and the Sacraments being absolutely 
abolished; adding thereto many extraordinary penalties 
against delinquents. By a majority of votes they have 
decided that the aforesaid things shall be expunged from 
the book, and that the Masses, Sacraments, and the rest of 
the Divine offices shall be performed as hitherto. . . • The 
members of the Lower House, seeing that the Lords passed 
this article of the Queen's supremacy of the Church, but 
not as the Commons drew it up, — the Lords cancelling the 
aforesaid clauses and modifying some others, — grew angry, 
and would consent to nothing, but are in very great con- 

The Lords, induced by the Marian Bishops, had wrecked 
the Government's plan for an alteration of religion. 

The Queen then intervened. She refused her assent 

^ For "II Sohifanoya'* and hia trastworthineaa, o£ Calendar of SUUt 
Papers, Venetian, 1558-80, Prefiuie yiii. 
</6/d. p. 52. 


to the Bill, on the dexterous pretext that she had doubts 
about the title which it proposed to confer upon her — 
SuprcTM Head of the Church} She knew that Romanists 
and Calvinists both disliked it, and she adroitly managed 
to make both parties think that she had yielded to the 
arguments which each had brought forward. The Spanish 
Ambassador took all the credit to himself ; and Sandys was 
convinced that Elizabeth had been persuaded by Mr. 
Lever, who " had put a scruple into the Queen's head that 
she would not take the title of Supreme Head." ^ 

The refusal of Boyal Assent enabled the Government 
to start afresh. They no longer attempted to put every- 
thing in one Bill A new Act of Supremacy,^ in which 
the Queen was declared to be " the only supreme governor 
of this realm ... as well in all spiritual or ecclesiastical 
things or causes as temporal/' was introduced into the 
Commons on April 10th, and was read for a third time on 
the 13th. Brought into the Lords on April 14th, it was 
read for a second time on the 17th, and finally passed on 
April 29th. If the obnoxious title was omitted, all the 
drastic powers claimed by Henry viii. were given to 
Elizabeth. The Elizabethan Act revived no less than nine 
of the Acts of Henry viii.,^ and among them the statute 

^ Canon Dixon (History of ihe Church of Engkmi, v. 67) declares that 
the phraae " Supreme Head " was not in the BiU. He has overlooked the 
fact that Heath in his speech against it quotes the actual words used in the 
proposed Act: *'I promised to move your honours to consider what this 
supremacy is which we go about by virtue of this Act to give to the Queen's 
Highness, and wherein it doth consist, as whether in spiritual government 
or in temporal. If in spiritual, like as the words of the Act do import, 
scilicet : Supreme Head of the Church of England immediaU and next under 
Oodf then it would be considered whether this House hathe authority to 
grunt them, and Her Highness to receive the same" (Strype, Annals^ i. i. 

' Qtlendar of Letters and State Papers relating to English Jffairs, pre- 
served chiefiy in the Archives of Simancas, 1668-80, pp. 87, 44, 60, 66, 
66 ; Parkers Correspondence, p. 66 ; Zurich Letters, i. 88. 

' The Act is printed in Gee and Hardy, DoeuTnenis, etc. p. 442. 

* The Acts of Henry viii. which were revived were : — 24 Hen. viii. c 
12— The Restraint of Appeals, passed in 1683 ; 28 Hen. viii. c. 2(i—Ths 
canditumalBestraint of Annates ; 26 Hen. viii. c l9-~77ie Submission tf ths 


concerning doctors of civil law,^ which contained theoe 
sentencee : " Most royal majesty is and hath always been, 
by the Word of God, Supreme Head on earth of the 
Church of England, and hath full power and authority to 
correct, punish, and repress all manner of heresies . • . 
and to exercise all other manner of jurisdiction commonly 
called ecclesiastical jurisdiction " ; and his majesty is " the 
only and undoubted Supreme Head of the Church of 
England, and also of Ireland, to whom by Holy Scripture 
all authority and power is wholly given to hear and 
determine all manner of causes ecclesiasticaL" Thus the 
very title Supreme Head of the Church of England was 
revived and bestowed on Elizabeth by this Parliament of 
1559. It may even be said that the ecclesiastical 
jurisdiction bestowed upon Elizabeth was more extensive 
than that given to her father, for schisms were added to 
the list of matters subject to the Queen's correction, and 
she was empowered to delegate her authority to com- 
missioners — a provision which enabled her to exercise her 
supreme governership in a way to be felt in every comer 
of the land.' This Act of Supremacy revived an Act of 
King Edward VI., enjoining that the communion should 
be given in both " kinds," and declared that the revived 
Act should take effect from the last day of Parliament' 
It contained an interesting proviso that nothing should 
be judged to be heresy which was not condemned by 
canonical Scripture, or by the first four General Councils 
" OB any of them." * 

The same Parliament, after briefer debate (April 18tb 

Clergy and Restraint of Appeals qf 15S4 ; 25 Hen. viil. o. 20 — TheSoeUsi- 
asticcU AppoiTUmenis Act ; The absolute Itestraint of Annates, Election tf 
Bishops, and Letters Missive Acto/l/>S4 ; 26 Hen. vtli. o. 21 — Actforhidding 
Papal Dispensations and the Payineni (^ Peter^s Pence qf 1634 ; 26 Hen. 
VIII. c. l^— Suffragan Bishops* Act of 16S4 ; and 28 Hen. viii, c 16— i4d 
for the Belease of such as have obtained pretetided Ditpensat/ions from the See tf 
Rome. These Actn are all, saye the last mentioned, printed in Qee and 
Hardy, Documents, etc. pp. 178-232, 258-66. 

1 Ihid, p. 445. > Ihid, p. 447. 

» Ibid. p. 446. * Jbid, p. 466. 


to 28ih), passed an Act of Uniformity which took an 
interesting form.^ The Act began by declaring that at the 
death of King Edward yl there '* remained one uniform 
order of common service and prayer, and of the administra- 
tion of sacraments, rites, and ceremonies in the Church of 
England, which was set forth in one Book, entitled The 
Book of Common Prayer and Administration of the Sacra- 
ments and other Bites and Cerem^miee in the Church of 
JBngland." This Book had been authorised by Act of 
Parliament held in the fifth and sixth years of King 
Edward yl, and this Act had been repealed by an Act of 
Parliament in the first year of the reign of Queen Mary 
"•to the great decay of the due honour of God, and dis- 
comfort of the professors of the truth of Christ's religion." 
This Act of Queen Mary was solemnly repealed, and the 
Act of King Edward yl, with some trifling alterations, was 
restored. In consequence, ** all and singular ministers in 
any cathedral or puish church " were ordered *' to say and 
use the Matins, Evensong, celebration of the Lord's 
Supper, and administration of each of the sacraments, and 
all their common and open prayer, in such order and form 
as is mentioned in the said Book, so authorised by 
Parliament in the said fifth and sixth years of the reign of 
King Edward Yl., with one alteration or addition of certain 
lessons to be used on every Simday in the year, and the 
form of the Litany altered and corrected, and two sentences 
only added in the delivery of the sacrament to the com- 
municants, and none other or otherwisa" .This meant that 
while there might be the fullest freedom of thought in 
the country and a good deal of liberty of expression, there 
was to be no freedom of public worship. All Englishmen, 
of whatever creed, were to be compelled by law to join in 
one common public worship according to the ritual 
prescribed. The Act of Parliament which compelled them 
to this had no specific Book of Common Prayer annexed to 
it and incorporated in it It simply replaced on the 
Statute Book the Act of King Edward vi., and with it 

' The Act is printed in Qee and Hardy, DocumenUf etc. pp. 468^. 


the Second Prayer-Book of Eling Edward, which with its 
rubrics had been " annexed and joined " to that Act ^ — 
certain specified alterations in the Book being notified in 
the Elizabethan Act 

The history of the Elizabethan Prajer-Book is con- 
fessedly obscure. If an important paper called the Device,^ 
probably drafted by Cecil, embodied the intentions of the 
Government, their procedure may be guessed with some 
probability. It enumerates carefully, after the manner of 
the great Elizabethan statesman, the dangers involved in 
any ** alteration of religion," and shows how they can be 
met or averted. France and Scotland can be treated 
diplomatically. Bome may be left unheeded — it is far 
away, and its opposition will not go beyond " evil will and 
cursing." The important dangers were at home. They 
would come from two sides — from the Bomanists backed 
by most of the higher clergy ; and from the advanced 
Beformers, who would scoff at the adteration which is alone 
possible in the condition of the kingdom, and would caU it 
a " cloaked papistry and a mingle-mangle." Tet both may 
be overcome by judicious firmness. The Bomanists may 
be coerced by penal law& The danger from the advanced 
Beformers may be got over by a carefully drafted Prayer- 
Book, made as far cls possible to their liking , and enforced 
by such penalties as would minimise all objections. There 
is great hope that such penalties would " touch but few." 
"And better it were that they did suffer than Her 
Highness or Commonwealth should shake or be in danger." 
The Device suggested that a smadl committee of seven 
divines — all of them well-known Beformers, and most of 
them refugees — should prepare a Book "which, being 
approved by Her Majesty," might be laid before Parliament 
It was evidently believed that the preparation of the Book 
would take some time, for suggestion is made that food, 
drink, wood, and coals should be provided for their sus- 

^ Gee and Hardy » Documents, eto. p. 871. 

' The Device is printed in Strjpe, Awnals, eto. i. ii. 392, and in Gee'i 
Elizabethan Prayer Book and Ornaments (London, 1902), p. 196. 


tenance and comfort There is no direct evidence to show 
that the suggested committee met or was even appointed ; 
bat evidence has been brought forward to show that most 
of the theologians named were in London, and were in a 
position to meet together and consult during the period 
when such a Book woidd naturally be prepared.^ The 
whole matter is shrouded in mystery, and secrecy was 
probably necessary in the circumstances. No one knew 
exactly what was to take place ; but some change was 
universally expected. '* There is a general expectation 
that all rites and ceremonies will shortly be reformed," 
said Bichard Hilles, writing to BuUinger in the end of 
February (1559), " by our faithful citizens and other godly 
men in the afore-mentioned Parliament, either after the 
pattern which was lately in use in the time of King 
Edward the Sixth, or which is set forth by the Protestant 
Princes of Germany in the afore-mentioned Confession of 
Augsburg." * 

The authorities kept their own counsel, and nothing 
definite was known to outsiders. A Book was presented 
to the Commons — Tf^e Book of Common Prayer and 
Minidraiion of the Sacraments — on Feb. 16th, at the time 
when the first draft of the Supremacy Bill was being 
discussed.' It must have been withdrawn along with 
that Bill. The second attempt at a Supremacy Act was 
probably accompanied with a Prayer-Book annexed to the 
Bill ; and this Prayer-Book was vehemently opposed in the 
Lords, who struck out all the clauses relating to it> 
What this Book of Common Prayer was, cannot be exactly 
known. Many competent liturgist scholars are inclined 

* G«6'b ElizaheihtMi Pray$r-Booh wnd OmamenU, pp. 76/. 

* Zurich LetUn, ii. 17. 

* The Journal of the Houm of Commona, i. 64 : ** The Bill for the Order 
of Seryioe and Ministers in the Chun^h " (Feb. 15th) ; The Book of Com- 
ftum Prayer and Minidration of Sacraments (Feb. 16th). 

« Calendoi of State Papers, Venetian, 1668-80, p. 46 : "a book passed 
by the Commons " ; of. above, p. 892 ; of. also Bishop Soot's speech on 
the reading of the Bill which was emascnkted by the Lords, in Stzype't 
Awnals, l. IL 408. 


to believe -that it was something more drastic than the 
Edwardine Frayer-Book of 1552, and that it was proposed 
to enforce it by penalties more drastic than those enacted 
by the Act of Uniformity which finally passed. They find 
the characteristic features of the Book in the well-known 
letter of Guest (Geste) to CeciL^ Such suggestions are 
meie conjectures. The Book may have been the Edwardine 
Prayer-Book of 1552. 

The Government had made slow progress with their 
proposed "alteration of religion," and the Protestant 
party were chafing at the delay. Easter was approaching, 
and its nearness made them more impatient. Canon law 
required everyone to communicate on Easter Day, which 
in 1559 fell on the 26th of March, and by a long 
established custom the laity of England had gone to the 
Lord's Table on that one day of the year. Men were 
asking whether it was possible that a whole year was to 
elapse before they could partake of the communion in a 
Protestant fashion. The House of Commons was full of 
this Protestant sentiment. The reactionary proceedings 
in the House of Lords urged them to some protest.^ A 
Bill was introduced into the Lower House declaring that 
** no person shall be punished for now using the religion 
used in King Edward's last year." It was read twice and 
engrossed in one day (March 15th), and was read a third 
time and passed on March 18th.' It does not appear to 
have been before the Lords ; but it was acted on in a 
curious way. A proclamation, dated March 22nd, declares 
that the Queen, " with the assent of Lords and Commons/' 

' Dr. Gee rejects the idea that Guest's letter had anything to do with the 
Book passed by the Commons and rejected by the Lords ; of. his Elizabethan 
Prayer-Book arui OmamejUs, pp. 82 fT. ; and for a criticism of Dr. €r6e, 
Tomlinson, TJie Elizabethan Prayer-Book and Ornaments; a JUview, p. 12. 
Guest's letter is piinted by Dr. Gee in his Elizabethan Prayer-Book, etc. 
p. 152, and more accurately by Mr. Tomlinsun in his tract, fFhy toas (hs 
First Prayer-Book of Edward VI, reject edf 

''*D Sohifanoya '' reports the wrath of the Commons: They "grew 
angry, and would consent to nothing, but are in yery great controTeny '* 
{Calendar ef State Papers, Venetian, 15S8-80, p. 52) ; cf. p. 892. 

* Jowmal of the House of Commons, i. 57. 


in the *' present last session," has revived the Act of King 
£dwanl vi. touching the reception of the Communion in 
both " kinds," and explains that the Act cannot he ready 
for Easter. It proceeds : " And because the time of Easter 
is so at hand, and that great numbers, not only of the 
noblemen and gentry, buu also of the common people of 
this realm, be certainly persuaded in conscience in such 
sort as they cannot be induced in any wise to communicate 
or receive the said holy Sacrament but under both kinds, 
according to the first institution, and to the common use 
both of the Apostles and of the Primitive Church ... it 
is thought necessary to Her Majesty, by the advice of 
sundry of her nobility and commons lately assembled in 
Parliament," to declare that the statute of Edward is in 
force, and all and sundry are commanded to observe the 
provisions of the statuta^ What is more, the Queen 
acted upon her proclamation. The well-informed ** Schi- 
fanoya," writing on March 28th, says that the Government 
'* during this interval (i.e, between ^arch 22nd and March 
28 th) had ordered and printed a proclamation for every 
one to take the communion in both *' kinds " (sitb tUraque 
specie). He goes on to say that on Easter Day " Her 
Majesty appeared in chapel, where Mass was sung in 
English, accordirig to the use of her brother. King Edward, 
and the communion received in both 'kinds,' kneeling." 
The chaplain wore nothing " but the mere surplice " {la 
semplice cotta)} The news went the round of Europe. 

1 Professor Maitland {EngVsk Eiatorical Jleview, July 1908, p. 627 1».) 
and Father J. H. Pollen {Dublin Jteview, January 1903) think that this 
proclamation of the 22ud of March was never issued ; but ** U Schifanoya *' 
can hardly refer to any other. 

* '* On Easter Day, Her Migesty appeared in the chapel, whero Mass was 
Bong in English, according to the use of her brother. King Edward, and the 
communion was received in both 'kinds,' kneeling, facendoli il aacerdoie la 
cnd&ma del corpo et scmgue prima ; nor did he wear anything but the mere 
surplice (la templice cotta), having divested himself of the vestments 
(1% paramenii) in which he had sung Mass ; and thus Her Mi^esty was 
followed by many Lords both of the Council and others. Since that day 
things have ntumed to their former state, though unless the Almighty 
lEtntcb forth His ann a rolapse la expected. These aoonrsed preachers, who 


Elizabeth had at last declared herself unmistakablj on 
the Protestant side. 

Easter had come and gone, and the religious question 
had not received final settlement. The authorities felt 
that something must be done to counteract the speeches 
of the Bomanist partisans in the Lords.^ So, while 
Parliament was sitting, a conference was arranged between 
Boman Catholic and Protestant divine& It seems to have 
been welcomed by both parties. Count Feria, the Spanish 
Ambassador, declared that he had something to do with it. 
He was anxious that th& disputation should be in Latin, 
that the arguments should be reduced to writing, and that 
each disputant should sign his paper. He was overruled 
so far as the language was concerned. The authorities 
meant that the laity should hear and understand. The 
three questions debated were: — Whether a "particular 
Church can change rites and ceremonies; Whether the 
services of public worship must be conducted in Latin ; 
Whether the Mass is a propitiatory scwjrifice." The confer- 
ence was held at Westminster on March 31st, in presetice 
of the Privy Council, the Lords and Commons, and the 
"multitude." Great expectations were cherished by both 
parties in anticipation, and when the Bomanist divines 
withdrew on points of procedure, their cause suffered in the 

hare come from Germany, do not fail to preaoh in their own fashion, both 
in public and in private, in snch wise that they persuaded certain rognes to 
forcibly enter the church of St. Mary-le-Bow, in the middle of Cheapside, 
and force the shrine of the most Holy Sacrament, breaking the tabernacle, 
and throwing the most precious oonsecrated body of Jesus Christ to the 
ground. They also destroyed the altar and the images, with the pall {polio) 
and church linen {totxUie), breaking everything into a thousand pieces. 
This hap[»ened tliis very night, which is the third after Easter. . . . Many 
persons have taken the communion in the usual manner, and things continue 
as usual in the churches " {Calendar cf StaU PaperSf Venetian, 1668-80, 
p. 67). 

^ The speeches of Abbot Feckenham and Bishop Scot, reprinted in Gee's 
Mizabethan Prayer-Bookf etc. pp. 228 jf., represent the arguments used in the 
Lords. Scot's speech was delivered on the third reading of the Act of Uni- 
formity, quite a month after the Westminster oonferenoe, and Feckenham's 
may have been made at the same time ; still they show the arguments of 
the Romanists. 


popular estimation. Two of the Bishops were sent to the . 
Tower '^for open contempt and contumacy"; and others 
seem to have been threatened.^ 

Parliament reassembled after the Easter recess and 
passed the Act of Supremacy in its third form, and the 
Act of Uniformity, which re-enacted, as has been said, the 
revised Prayer-Book — that is, the Second Book of King 
Edward vi. with the distinctly specified alterations. The 
most important of these changes were the two sentences 
added to the words to be used by the officiating minister 
when giving the commimion. The clauses had been in 
the First Prayer- Book of Edward vi. 

While in the Second Prayer-Book of King Edward 
the officiating minister was commanded to say while giving 
the Bread : 

** Tdke and ecU this, in remembrance thai Christ died for 
theCy and feed on Him in thy heart by faith with thanks- 

and while giving the Cup, to say : 

" Drink this in remsihbrance that Christ's blood tOM shed 
for thee, and be thankfvX ; " 

the words were altered in the Elizabethan book to: 

" The Body of our Lord Jesus Christ, which was given for 
thee, preserve thy body and soul unto everlasting life. Take 
and eai this in remembrance that Christ died for thee, and 
feed on Him in thy heart by faith with thanksgiving ; " 

" Hie Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ, which ioas shed for 
thu, preserve thy body and soul unto everlasting life. Drink 
this in remembrance that Christ's Blood was shed for thee, and 
be tItankftU." 

The additions in no way detracted from the Evangelical 
doctrine of the Sacrament. They rather brought the 

' CfaUnidar of Letters and State Papen relating to JBnglUh Jffain, pre- 
$erved prineiptUly in the Archives of Simaneae, 1S68-S7, pp. 46, 4(M8 ; 
Zurich Letters, 1 18/. ; Strype's Annals, eto. i. i. 128-40, i. ii. 466 ; CaUndar 
qfStaU Pa^iers, Venetian^ 16^8-80, pp. 64, 66. 



underlying thought into greater harmony with the doctrine 
of the Reformed Churches. But they have had the effect 
of enabling men who hold different views about the nature 
of the rite to join in its common usa 

When the Act of Uniformity was passed by Parliament, 
the advanced Reformers, who had chafed at what appeared 
to them to be a long delay, were contented; They, one 
and all, believed that the Church of England had been 
restored to what it had been during the last year of the 
reign of Edward VL ; and this was the end for which they 
had been striving, the goal placed before them by their 
friend and adviser, Henry Bullinger of Zurich.^ Their 
letters are full of jubilation.' 

Yet there were some things about this Elizabethan 

^"Eing Edward's reformation aatisfteth the godlj": Bollinger to 
Utenhovius {Zurich Letters, 2nd serieB, p. 17 fi. ; Strype, Annals, i. i 259). 

' Maj 20th, Cox to Weidner : *' Tlie duoere religion of Christ is there- 
fore established among ns in all parts of the kingdom, just in the same 
manner as it was formerly promulgated under our Edward of blessed memory ** 
{Zurich Letters, L 28). 

May 2l8t, Parkhurst to Bullinger : " The Book of Common Prayer, set 
forth in the time of King Edward, is now again in general use throughout 
England, and will be everywhere, in spite of the struggles and opposition 
of the pseudo-bishops " {Zurich Letters, i. 29). 

May 22nd, Jewel to Bullinger : ** Religion is again placed on the same 
footing on which it stood in King Edward's time ; to which e^nt I doubt 
not but that your own letters and those of your republic have powerfnUy 
contributed" {Zurich Letters, i. 33). 

May 23rd, Grindal to Conrad Hubert : " But now at last, by the bless- 
ing of God, during the prorogation of Parliament, there has been published 
a proclamation to banish the Pope and his jurisdiction altogether,' and to 
restore religion to that form which we had in the time of Edward Yi.** 
{Zurich Letters, ii. 19). 

Dr. Gee seems to beg an important historical question when he says that 
these letters must have been written before the writers knew that the Prayer- 
Book had been actually altered in more than the three points mentioned in 
the Act of Uniformity. Grindal, writing again to Hubert on July 14th, 
when he must have known everything, says : " The state of our Church 
(to come to that subject) is pretty much the same as when I last wrote to 
you, except only that what had heretofore been settled by prodamationi 
and laws with respect to the reformation of the churches la now daily 
being carried into effect. " Cf. Gee's ElizaJbethan Prayer Book, etc. p. 101 n., 
for the actual differences between the Edwardine Book of 1552 and the 
Elizabethan Book of 1559. 


settlement which, if interpreted as they have been by 
some eccleBiastical historians, make it very difficult to 
understand the contentment of such men as Griudal, Jewel, 
and Sandys. ''Of what was done in the matter of 
omarMvisI* says Professor Maitland, "by statute, by the 
rubrics of the Book, and by Injunctions that the Queen 
promptly issued, it would be impossible to speak fairly 
without lengthy quotation of documents, the import of 
which became in the nineteenth century a theme of 
prolonged and inconclusive disputation."^ All that can 
be attempted here is to mention .the principal documents 
involved in the later controversy, and to show how they 
were interpreted in the life and conduct of contemporaries. 
The Act of Uniformity had restored, with some trifling 
differences clearly and definitely stated, Edward vi/s 
Prayer-Book of 1552, and therefore its rubrics.' It had 

^ (kmJbridge Modem ffiatory, iL 670. 

' The rabric explaining kneeling at the commnnion had not the authority 
of Parliament, bat only of the Priyj Oouncil, and was not included. 

The rubrio of 1552 regarding omamerUs, which had the authority of 
Ptoliament and was re-enacted by the Act of Uniformity of 1569, was : " And 
here is to be noted that the minister at the time of communion, and at all 
other times in his ministration, shall use neither aib, veetmerU, nor cope ; 
Imt being arMUkop or bishop, he shall have and wear a rochet : and being 
jfriett or deacon, he shall haw and toear a surplice only," 

This is the real ornaments rubrio of the Elizabethan settlement, and 
appears to be such in the use and wont of the Church of England firom 1559 
to 1566, save that copes were used occasionally. 

The proTiso in the Act of Uniformity (1559) was : ''Such ornaments of the 
Church and of the ministers thereof shall be retained and be in use as was in 
this Church of England by authority of Parliament in the second year of 
the reign of King Edward vi., until other order shall be therein taken by 
the authority of the Queen's Mijesty, with the advice of her commissioners 
appointed and authorised under the Great Seal of England for causes 
eoddsiastical, or of the metropolitan of this realm." 

The ornaments in use in the second year of Edward Yi. are stated in the 
mbrics of the first Prayer-Book of King Edward (1549) : 

"Upon the day, and at the time appointed for the ministration of the 
Holy Communion, the Priest that shall eieoute the holy ministry shall put 
upon him the Testure appointed for that ministration, that is to say : a white 
Albe plain, with a vestment or Cope. And where there be many Priests or 
Deacons, there so many shaU be ready to help the Priest in the ministration as 
shall be requisite : and shall have upon them likewise the vestures appointed 
for their ministry, that is to say, Albes with tunides." At the end there 


at the same time contained a proviso saying that the 
ornaments sanctioned by the authority of Parliament in 
the second year of Edward VL were " to be retained and 
be in use " " until further order shall therein be taken." 

Men like Grindal and Jewel took no exception to this 
proviso, which they certainly would have done had they 
believed that it ordained the actual use in time of public 
worship, of the ornaments used in the second year of King 
Edward The interpretation they gave to the proviso is 
seen from a letter from Sandys to Parker (afterwards 
Archbishop of Canterbury), written two days after the Act 
of Uniformity had passed the Lords. He says : 

"The last book of service has gone through with a 
proviso to retain the ornaments which were used in the 
first and second year of King Edward, until it please the 
Queen to take other order for them. Our gloss upon the 
text is that we shall not be enforced to use them, but that 
others in the meantime shall not convey them away, but 
that they may remain for the Queen." ^ 

Sandys and others understood the proviso to mean 
that recalcitrant clergy like the Warden of Manchester, 
who carried his consecrated vestments to Ireland, were not 
to make off with the ornaments, and that churchwardens 
or patrons were not to confiscate them for their private 
usa They were property belonging to the Queen, and to 
be retained until Her Majesty's pleasure was known. The 
whole history of the visitations goes to prove that Sandys' 
interpretation of the proviso was that of its framers. 

When the Prayer-Book was actually printed it was 
found to contain some differences from the Edwardine 

18 another rubric : "Upon Wednesdays and Fridays, the English Litany shall 
be said or song in all places after such form as is appointed by the King's 
Majesty's Injunctions ; or as is or shall be otherwise appointed by His High- 
ness. And though there be none to communicate with the Priest, yet these 
days (after the Litany ended) the Pi-iest shall put upon him a plain Albe or 
surplice, with a oope, and say all things at the Altar appointed to be said at 
the celebration of the Lord's Supper, until after the offertory." 
^ Parker CorreqHmdenee, p. 66. 


Book of 1552 besides those mentioned in the Act as the 
only ones to be admitted; and early editions have not 
always the same changes. But the one thing of import- 
ance was a rubric which, on what seems to be the only 
possible interpretation, enjoins the use in public worship of 
the ornaments (i.e. the vestments) in use in the second 
year of King Edward.^ How this rubric got into the 
Prayer-Book it is impossible to say. It certainly was not 
enacted by the Queen *' with assent of Lords and Common&" 
We have no proof that it was issued by the Privy CounciL* 

^ The nibrio is : "And here it is to be noted that the minister at the 
time of oommunion and at all other times in hie ministrations, shall use 
anch ornaments in the choroh as were in use by authority of Parliament in 
the second year of the reign of King Edward vi., according to the Act of 
Parliament set in the beginning of this Book." 

' Dr. Gee {Mixalelhan Ornaments, etc. p. 181) thinks that there can be 
no reasonable doubt that the rubric was recorded on the authority of the 
Privy Council. "The Privy Oouncil had certainly inserted the Black 
Rubric in 1552, as their published Acts attest, but aU the records of the 
Privy Council from 18th May 1559 until 28th May 1562 have disappeared." 
The precedent cited is scarcely a parallel case. The Black Rubric was an 
explanation ; the Rubric of 1569 is almost a contradiction in terms of the 
Act which restores the Prayer-Book of 1552. If I may venture to express 
an opinion, it seems to me most likely that the rubric was added by the 
Queen herself and that she inserted it in order to be able to " hedge." It 
is too often forgotten that the danger which overshadowed the earlier years 
of Elizabeth was the issue of a papal Bull proclaiming her a heretic and 
a bastard, and inviting Henry ii. of France to undertake its execution. 
The Emperor would never permit such a Bull if Elizabeth could show 
reasonable pretext that she and her kingdom held by the Lutheran type 
of Protestantism. An excommunication pronounced in such a case 
would have invalidated his own position, which he owed to the votes of 
Lutheran Electors. In the middle of the sixteenth century the difference 
between the different sections of Christianity was always estimated in 
the poptUar mind by differences in public worship, and especially in the 
oelebration of the Lord's Supper. All over Germany the Protestant was 
distinguished from the Romamst by the fact that he partook of the com- 
munion in both "kinds." Elizabeth had definitely nmged herself on the 
Protestant side from Easter Day 1559 ; and a more or less ornate ritual 
oould never explain away the significance of this fact. The great difference 
between the Lutherans and the Calvinists to the popular mind was that the 
former retained and the latter discarded most of the old ceremoniaL Luther 
says expressly: "Da lassen wyr die Messgewand, altar, liechter noch 
ble^ben" (Daniel, Codex LUvrgicue Eoduice Luiherann, p. 105); and 
vestments, lights, and an altar appear in regular Lntheraii foshion 


The use aiid wont of the Church of England during the 
period of the Elizabethan settlement was as if this rubric 
had never existed. It is directly contradicted by the 
thirtieth Injunction issued for the Soyal Visitation of 
1559.^ It was not merely contemptuously ignored by 
the Elizabethan Bishops; they compelled their clergy, if 
compulsion was needed, to act in defiance of it. 

Contemporary sources abundantly testify that in the 
earlier years of the reign of Queen Elizabeth the English 
clergy in their ministrations scarcely ever wore any 
ecclesiastical garment but the surplice ; and sometimes not 
even that. The Advertisements^ of 1566, which almost 
all contemporary notices speak of as prescribing what had 
been enjoined in the Injunctions of 1559, were drafted for 
the purpose of coercing clergymen who were in the habit 
of refusing to wear even the surplice, and they enjoined 
the surplice only, and the cope' in cathedrab. In the 

wheneTer the Qaeen wished to place herself and her land under the shield 
of the Angsburg Peace. Thia rubric was a remarkably good card to pUiy 
in the diplomatic game. . 

^ XXXth If^unetion ^ 1669 : '* Item, Her M^esty being desirous to 
hare the prelacy and clergy of this realm to be had as well in outwaid 
rererence, as otherwise regarded for the worthiness of their ministries, and 
thinking it necessary to have them known to the people in aU places and 
assemblies, both in the ckurch and without, and thereby to reoeiye the 
honour and estimation due to the special messengers and ministers of 
Almighty God, wills and commands that all archbishops and bishops, and 
all other that be called or admitted to preaching or ministry of the 
sacraments, or that be admitted into any rocation ecclesiastical, or into any 
society of learning in either of the Universities or elsewhere, shall itse atid 
wear such seemly habits, garments, and such square caps as were moat 
commonly and orderly received in the kUUr year of the reign qf King 
EdvMfrd VI, ; not meaning thereby to attribute any holiness or special 
worthiness to the said garments, but as St. Paul i^nriteth : * Omnia deeenUret 
eeeundum ordinemjiant* (1 Cor. xiv. cap.)." Cf. Gee's Biizabethan /Voyisr 
Book and Ornaments (London, 1902} ; Tomlinaon, The Prayer Book, Articles 
and ffomiliea (London, 1897); Parker, The OmamMts JSicMe ( Oxford, 

' The Adoertiiemente are printed in Gee and Hardy, Documents, etc pw 
467 ; the Injvnetums, at p. 417. 

* Copes were used in the cathedrals and sometimes in collegiate ohurchee 
in the years between 1559 and 1566, when it was desired to add some 
majgfnificenoe to the service ; but it ought to be remrimbered that the eope 


Visitation carried out in accordance with the directions in 
the Injunctions, a clean sweep was made of ahnost all the 
omaTnents which were not merely permitted but ordered in 
the proviso of the Act of Uniformity and the Rubric of 
1559 on the ordinary ritualistic interpretation of these 
clause& The visitors proceeded on a uniform plan, and 
what we hear was done in one place may be inferred 
as the common practica The Spanish Ambassador (July 
or August 1559) wrote to his master: *'They are now 
carrying out the law of Parliament respecting religion with 
great rigour, and have appointed six visitors. . . . They 
have just taken the crosses, iijiages, and altars from St. 
Paul's and all the other London churches/' ^ A <3itizen of 
London noted in his diary : " The time before Bartholomew 
tide and after, were all the roods and Maries and Johns, 
and many other of the church goods, both, copes, crosses, 
censers, altcur cloth, rood cloths, books, banners, banner 
stays, wainscot and much other gear about London, 
burnt in Smithfield."' What took place in London 
was done in the provinces. At Grantham, '' the vestments, 
copes, albs, tunicles, and all other such baggages Were 
defaced and openly sold by the general consent of the 
whole corporation, and the money employed in setting up 
desks in the church, and making of a decent communion 
table, and the remnant to the poor." ' 

It is true that we find complaints on the part of men 
like Jew6l of ritualistic practices which they do not like ; 
but these in almost every case refer to worship in the 
royal chapeL The services there were well known, and 
both friends and foes of the Reformation seemed to take 
it for granted that what was the fashion in the royal 

was never a sacrificial vestment. It was originally the cappa of the earlier 
Middle Ages — the medisval greatcoat. Large churches were cold places, 
the clergy naturally wore their greatcoats when officiating, and the homely 
garment grew in magnificence. It never had a doctrinal significance like 
the ekaeuiUe or eosu/o. 

* Calendar of State Papers, Spanish, 15S8-67, p. 89. 

' Machyn's Diary (Camden Society, London, 1844), p. 108. 

* Peacock's Ohureh FurmtwrCf p. 87. 


chapel would soon extend to the test of the lealxn.^ 
Historians have usually attributed the presence of crosses^ 
vestments, lights on the altar, to the desire of the Queen 
to conciliate her Bomanist subjects, or to stand well with 
the great Boman Catholic Powers of Europe. It is quite 
likely that the Queen liad this thought in her mind. 
Elizabeth was a thrifty lady, and liked to bring down 
many birds with the one stone. But the one abiding 
thought in the mind of the astute Queen was to stand well 
with the Lutherans, and to be able, when threatened with 
papal excommunication, to take shelter under the 8^;iB of 
the Peace of Augsburg. 

When the Oovemment had secured the passing of the 
Acts of Supremacy and Uniformity, they were in a position 
to deal with the recalcitrant clergy. Eleven of the 
English Episcopal Sees had been vacant at the accession of 
Elizabeth, among them that of the Primate ; for Cardinal 
Pole had died a few hours after Mary. In the summer 
and autumn of 1559 the sixteen Bishops were called upon 
to sign the Oath of Supremacy, in which the papal rule 
ov^ the Church of England was abjured, and the Queen 
declared to be the Supreme Governor of the Church. All 
the Bishops, more or less definitely, refused to take the 
oath; although three were at first doubtful. They were 
deprived, and the English Church was practically without 
Bishops.^ Some of the deprived Bishops of King Edward's 
time survived, and they were restored. Then came dis- 
cussion about the manner of appointing new ones. Some 
would have preferred a simple royal nomination, as in 
Edward's time ; but in the end it was resolved that the 

1 CaUndar tf State Papers, Spanish, 1558-67, p. 105 : *<The oruoiftxeB 
and yestmenta that were burnt a month ago publicly are now set up again 
in the royal chapel, as they soon will be all over the kingdom, unless, 
which God forbid, tliere is another change next week. They are doing it 
out of sheer fear to pacify the Catholics ; but as forced favoun are no sign 
of affection, they often do more harm than good." CfL Zurich Letters, L 
68, etc. 

' CaUndar of Letters and Stale Papers relating to EnglUh Jjfairt, pre- 
mrved principally in the Archives of Simaneas, L pp. 76, 79. 


appointment should be nominally in the hands of the 
Deans and Chapters according to mediaeval rule, with the 
proviso, however, that the royal permission to elect had 
first to be given, and that the person named in the " leave 
to elect " should be chosen. Then the question of conse- 
cration gave rise to some difficulties ; but these were got 
over in ways which were deemed to be sufficient. Matthew 
Parker, after more than one refusal, was nominated and 
consecrated Archbishop of Canterbury. Lists of clerical 
persons suitable for promotion were prepared for the 
Queen,^ and the other Sees were gradually filled. The 
Elizabethan episcopate, with the exception of the few 
Edwardine Bishops, was an entirely new creation. A large 
number of the Deans and members of the Cathedral 
Chapters had also refused to sign the Oath of Supremacy ; 
they were deprived, and others who were on the lists were 
appointed in their placa The inferior clergy proved to 
be much more amenable, and only about two hundred were 
in the end deprived. The others all accepted the '' altera- 
tion of religion"; and the change was brought about 
quietly and without the riotings which had accompanied 
the alterations made in the days of Edward, or the whole- 
sale deprivations which had followed upon those made by 
Queen Mary — when almost one-third of the beneficed 
clergy of the Church of England had been removed from 
their benefice& A similar passive acquiescence was seen in 
the introduction of the new Book of Common Prayer, and 
in the fulfilment of the various orders for the removal of 
images, etc. The great altars and crucifixes were taken 
away, and the pictures covered with whitewash, without 
any disturbances to speak of. 

The comparative ease with which the "alteration of 
religion" was effected was no doubt largely due to the 
increased Protestant feeling of the country ; but the tact 
and forbearance of those who were appointed to see the 
changes carried out counted for something; and perhaps 

^ Calendar qf State Papen^ Domestic Series, Edward VI., Mary, JStizabeih, 
I 180. 


the acquieecence of the Boman Catholics was due to the 
fact that they had no great leader, that thej did not 
expect the Elizabethan settlement to last long, and that 
they waited in expectation that one or other of the two 
Bomanist Powers, France or Spain, would interfere in 
their behalf. The religious revolution in Scotland in 
1560 saved the Elizabethan settlement for the time; and 
Philip of Spain trifled away his opportunities until a 
united England overthrew his A^fnA/^R^ which came thirty 
years too late. 

The change was given effect to by a Boyal Visitation. 
England was divided into six districts, and lists of visitors 
were drawn up which included the Lords Lieutenants of 
the counties, the chief men of the districts, and some lawyers 
and clergymen known to be well affected to the Beformation. 
They had to assist them a set of Injunctions, modelled 
largely, not entirely, on those of Edward VL, drafted and 
issued by royal command.^ The members of the clergy 
were dealt with very patiently, and explanations, public 
and private, were given of the Act of Supremacy which 
made it easier for them to accept it. The Elizabethan 
Bishops were also evidently warned to deal tenderly with 
stubborn parish clergymen; they would have been less 
patient with them' if left to themselves. One, Bishop 
Best, Bishop of Carlisle, is found writing to Cecil about 
his clergy, that ** the priests are wicked impes of Anti- 
christ," for the most part very ignorant and stubborn ; 
another, Pilkington, the Bishop of Durham, in describing 
the disordered state of his diocese, declared that "like 
St. Paul, he has to fight with beasts at Ephesus"; and a 
third, Scory, Bishop of Winchester, wrote that he was 
much hindered by justices of the peace who were Boman 
Catholics, and that when certain priests who had refused to 
take the oath were driven out of Exeter and elsewhere, they 
were received and feasted in the streets with torchlighta' 

^ The Injunetiona are printed in Gee and Haidy, Doeuments, eto. p. 417. 
' OaUndar of State Papers^ Domestic Seriea^ of the Rtigne of Edward F/., 
Mary, and Eluabeih, I pp. 180, 188, 187. 


Elizabeth's second Parliament was very much more 
Protestant than the first, and insisted that the Oath of 
Supremacy must be taken by all the members of the 
House of Commons, by all lawyers, and by all school- 
masters. The Convocation of 1563 proved that the clergy 
desired to go much further in the path of Beformation 
than the Queen thought desirable. 

They clearly wished for some doctrinal standard, and 
Archbishop Parker had prepared and laid before Con- 
vocation a revised edition of the Forty-tvH} Articles which 
had defined the theology of the Church of England in the 
last year of King Edward vi.^ The way had been pre- 
pared for the issue of some authoritative exposition of the 
doctrinal position of the Elizabethan Church by the Dedara- 
tion of the Principal Articles of Religion — a series of eleven 
articles framed by the Bishops and published in 1561 
(March), which repudiates strongly the Bomanist doctrines 
of the Papacy, private Masses, and the propitiatory sacrifice 
in the Holy Supper. The Spanish Ambassador, who had 
heard of the meetings of the Bishops for this purpose, 
imagmed that they were preparing articles to be presented 
to the Council of Trent on behalf of the Church of 
England.' The Archbishop's draft was revised by Con- 
vocation, and was ''diligently read and sifted" by the 
Queen herself before she gave her consent to the 
authoritative publication of the Articles. 

These Thirty-nine Articles expressed the doctrine of 
the Beformed or Calvinist as distinguished from the 
Evangelical or Lutheran form of Protestant doctrine, and 
the distinction lay mainly in the views which the respective 
Confessions of the two Churches held about the Presence 
of Christ in the Sacrament of the Holy Supper. By this 
time (1562) Zwinglianism, as a doctrinal system, not as 

^ For the histoiy of these Articles, see Hard wick, A History of the 
Articles of JReligion; to which is added a Series qf Documents from A.J>. 
15S6 to A.D, 1616, etc. (Cambridge, 1859). 

' CdUndofr of Letters amd State Papers relating to English Affairs, pre- 
served prindpaily in the Archives qf Simaneas, i. 190. 


an ecclesiastical policy, had disappeared ; ^ and the three 
theories of the Presence of Christ in the Sacrament had 
all to do with the Presence of the Body of Christ and 
not with a spiritual Presence simply. The Somanist 
theory, trausubstantiation, was based on the mediaeval 
conception of a substance existing apart from all accidents 
of smell, shape, colour, eta, and declared that the 
'* substance " of the Bread and of the Wine was changed 
into the ''substance" of the Body and Blood of Christy 
while the accidents or qualities remained the same — the 
change being miraculously effected by the priest in conse- 
crating the communion elementa The Xutheran explana- 
tion was based upon a medissval theory also — on that of 
the ubiquity or natural omnipresence of the ''glorified'' 
Body of Christ. The Body of Christ, in virtue of its 
ubiquity, was present everywhere, in chairs, tables, stones 
flung through the air (to use Luther's illustrations), and 
therefore in the Bread and in the Wine as everywhere 
else. This ordinary presence became an efficacious sacra- 
mental Presence, asrjng to the promise of Ood. Calvin 
had discarded..J)oth mediaeval theories, and started by 
asking what was meant by svbstance and what by presence ; 
he answered that the substance of anything is its power 
(vis\ and its presence is the immediate application of 
its power. Thus the substance of the crucified Body of 
Christ is its power, and the Presence of the crucified Body 
of Christ is the immediate application of its power ; and 
the guarantee of the application of the power is the 
promise of God received by the believing communicant. 
By discarding the Lutheran thought that the substance of 
the Body of Christ is something extended in space, and 
accepting the thought that the main thing in substance 
is power, Calvin was able to think of the substance of the 
Body of Christ in a way somewhat similar tq the mediaeval 
conception of " substance without accidents," and was able 
to show that the Presence of Christ's Body in the sacrament 
could be accepted and understood without the priestly 

^ The Contsnaut Tigwrinua (1549) datea the diBappaaranot. 


miracle, which he and all Proteetants rejected. Hence it 
came to pass that Calvin could teach the Seal Presence 
of Christ's Body in the Sacrament of the Supper without 
having recourse to the mediaeval doctrine of "ubiquity," 
which was the basis of the Lutheran theory. They both 
(Calvin and Luther) insisted on the Presence of the Body 
of Christ; but the one (Luther) needed the theory of 
"ubiquity" to explain the Presence, while the other 
(Calvin) did not need it. But as both discarded the 
priestly miracle while insisting on the Presence of the 
Body, the two doctrines might be stated in almost the same 
words, provided all mention of '* ubiquity " was omitted. 
Calvin could and did sign the Augsburg Confession; 
but he did not read into it what a Lutheran would 
have done, the theory of "ubiquity"; and a Calvinist 
statement of the doctrine, provided only "ubiquity" was 
not denied, might be accepted by a Lutheran as not 
differing greatly from his own. Bishop Jewel asserts 
again and again in his correspondence, that the Elizabethan 
divines did not believe in the theory of " ubiquity," ^ and 
many of them probably desired to say so in their articles 
of religion. Hence in the first draft of the Thirty- 
nine Articles presented to Convocation by Archbishop 
Parker, Article XXYIIL contained a strong repudiation of 
the doctrine of " ubiquity," which, if retained, would have 
made the Articles of the Church of England more anti- 
Lutheran than even the second Helvetic Confession. The 
clause was struck out in Convocation, probably because 
it was thought to be needlessly offensive to the German 
Protestants.' The Queen, however, was not satisfied with 

* The Zwrich Letters, lSSS-79, First Series (Parker Society, Cambridge, 
1842), pp. 128, 127, 185, 100, 189. Bishop Jewel, writing to Peter Martyr 
(p. 100), says : **Asto matters of doctrine, we have pared everything away to 
the very quick, and do not differ from your doctrine by a nail's breadth " 
(Feb. 7th, 1562) ; and Bishop Horn, writing to BuUinger (Dec. 18th, 1568, 
i,e. after the Queen's alterations), says, x ^* We have throughout England the 
same'eeelesiastical doctrine as yourselves" {ibid. p. 135). 

'The deleted clause was: **Christus in eoelum aseendens, corpori euo 
immoiialitatem dedit, naturam non abstuHt, humance enim natures veritatem 


what her divineB had done, and two important interferences 
with the Articles as they came from Convocation are 
attributed to her. The first was the addition of the 
words : and authorUie in eontroverries offafftk, in Article XX., 
which deals with the authority possessed by the Church. 
The second was the complete suppression for the time 
being of Article XXIX., which is entitled, Of the vriehed 
which do not eate the Body of Christe in the use of the Lordes 
Supper, and is expressed in terms which most Lutherans 
would have been loath to usa 

The Queen's action was probably due to political 
reasons. It was important in international politics for a 
Protestant Queen not yet securely seated on her throne 
to shelter herself under the shield which a profession of 
Lutheranism would give. The German Lutherans had 
won l^al recognition within the Empire at the Diet of 
Augsburg in 1555 ; the votes of two Lutheran Electors 
had helped to place the Emperor on his throne ; and the 
Pope dared not excommunicate Lutheran Princes save at 
the risk of offending the Emperor and invalidating all his 
acts. This had been somewhat sternly pointed out to 
him when he first threatened to excommunicate Elizabeth, 
and the Queen knew all the difficulties of the papal 
position. One has only to read an account of a long 
conversation with her, reported by the Spanish Ambassador 
to his master (April 29th, 1559), to see what use the 
'* wise Queen with the eyes that could flash " ^ made 
of the situation. The Ambassador had not obscurely 
threatened her with a papal Bull declaring her a bastard 
and a heretic, and had brought home its effects by citing 
the case of the King of Navarre, whose kingdom was taken 

{puda ScHpturaa), perpetuo retinetf quam uno ei definito loeo mm, H non tit 
fMdtay vel omnia nmul loca diffundi aporUt, Qwum igitur Chridug in 
eoBlum iublaitu, On utque ad finem teeuli permansurus, atque inde, non 
aliunde {tU loquitur An guMinui) verUurus ait, adjudieandum vivos et nwrUm^ 
non debet quiequamfidelium, et camie eiue^ et eanguinie, realem et eorporealem 
(«( IcquwrUur) presentiam in JEucharietia vel oredere, vel yrofiUru*^ 

^ ** Cette reine est extremrment sage, et a dee yeuz temblee/' Calendar 
^ StaU Papers, DofMstie Series, qf the JReign <tf ISliaabeth, 1696-97, p. zzL 


from him by Ferdinand of Spain acting as the Pope's 
agent, and Elizabeth had played with him in her usual 
way. She had remarked casually " that she wished the 
Augsburg Confession to be maintained in her realm, 
whereat," says the Count de Feria, " I was much surprised, 
and found fault with it all I could, adducing the argu- 
ments I thought might dissuade her from it. She then 
told me it would not be the Augsburg Confession, but 
something else like it, and that she differed very little 
from us, as she believed that Ood was in the SacramerU of 
the Eucharist, and only dissented from three or four things 
in the Masa After this she told me that she did not wish 
to argue about religious mattera"^ She did not need to 
argue ; the hint had been enough for the baffled Ambassador. 

Article XXIX. was suppressed, and only Thirty-eigJU 
Articles were acknowledged publicly. The papal Bull of 
excommunication was delayed until 1570, when its 
publication could harm no one but Elizabeth's own 
Bomanist subjects, and the dangerous period was tided 
over safely. When it came at last, the Queen was not 
anathematised in terms which could apply to Lutherans, 
but because she personally acknowledged and observed " the 
impious constitutions and atrocious mysteries of Calvin," 
and had commanded that they should be observed by her 
subjects.' Then, when the need for politic suppression 
was past, Article XXIX. was published, and the Thirty- 
nine Articles became the recognised doctrinal standard of 
the Church of England (1571). 

What the Queen's own doctrinal beliefs were no one can 
tell ; and she herself gave the most contrary descriptions 
when it suited her policy. The disappearance and re- 
appearance of crosses and candles on the altar of the royal 
chapel were due as much to the wish to keep in touch 
with the Lutherans as to any desire to conciliate the 
Queen's Bomanist subjects. 

* Calendar of Letters and State Papers relating to English Affairs^ pre* 
mrved principally in the Archives of Simaneas, i. 61, 62. 
> Calendar of State Papers, Venetian, 1S68-S0, p. 449. 


The Convocation of 1563 had other important mattera 
before it Its proceedings showed that the new Elizabethan 
clergy contained a large number who were in favour of 
some drastic changes in the Prayer- Book and in the Act 
of Uniformity. Many of them had become acqtiainted with 
and had come to like the simplicity of the Swiss worship, 
thoroughly purified from what they called " the dr^ of 
Popery " ; and others envied the Scots, " who," wrote Park- 
hurst to Bullinger (Aug. 23rd, 1559), "have made greater 
progress in true religion in a few months than we have 
done in many yeara" ^ 

Such men were dissatisfied with much in the Prayer- 
Book, or rather in its rubrics, and brought forward pro- 
posals for simplifying the worship, which received a large 
measure of support It was thought that all organs 
should be done away with ; that the ceremony of " cross- 
ing " in baptism should be omitted ; that all festival days 
save the Sundays and the " principal feasts of the Church ** 
should be abolished ; — this proposal was lost by a majority 
of one in the Lower House. Another motion, leaving it to 
the option of communicants to receive the Holy Supper 
either standing, sitting, or kneeling, as it pleased them, was 
lost by a very small majority. Many of the Bishops them- 
selves were in favour of simplifying the rites of the Church ; 
and five Deans and twelve Archdeacons petitioned against 
the use of the surplice. The movement was so strong 
that Convocation, if left to itself, would probably have 
purified the Church in the Puritan sense of the word. 
But the Queen had all the Tudor liking for a stately cere- 
monial, and she had political reasons, national and inter- 
national, to prevent her allowing any drastic ohangea 
She was bent on welding her nation together into one, and 
she had to capture for her Church the large mass of people 
who were either neutral or who had leanings to Romanism, 
or at least to the old mediaeval service. The Council 
of Trent was sitting ; Papal excommunication was always 
threatened, and, as above explained, Lutheran protection 

1 The Zurich Letten, etc, First Series, p. 91. 


and sympathy were useful. The ceremonies were retained, 
the crucifixes and lights on the altars were paraded in the 
chapel royal to show the Lutheran sympathies of the 
Queen and of the Church of England. The Beforming 
Bishops, with many an inward qualm,^ had to give way ; 
and gradually, as the Queen had hoped, a strong Conservative 
instinct gathered round the Prayer- Book and its rubrics. 
The Convocation of 1563 witnessed the last determined 
attempt to propose any substantial alteration in the public 
worship of the English people. 

At the same Convocation a good deal of time was 
spent upon a proposed Book of Discipline, or an authorita- 
tive statement of the English canon law. It is probable 
that its contents are to be found in certain " Articles for 
ffcvemment and order in the Churchy exhibited to be permitted 
by authority ; but n^t allowed^' which are printed by Strype * 
from Archbishop Parker's MSS. Such a book would have 
required parliamentary authority, and the Parliament of 
1563 was too much occupied with the vanishing protec- 
tion of Spain and with the threatening aspect of France 
and Scotland. The marriage of the Queen of Scots with 
Damley had given additional weight to her claims on the 
English throne; and it was feared that the English 
Bomanists might rise in support of the legitimate heir. 
Parliament almost in a panic passed severe laws against 
all recusants, and increased the penalties against all who 
refused the oath of allegiance or who spoke in support of 
the authority of the Bishop of Soma The discipline of 
the Church was left to be r^ulated by the old statute of 
Henry viiL, which declared that as much of the mediaeval 
canon law as was not at variance with the Scriptures and 
the Acts of the English Parliament was to form the basis 
of law for the ecclesiastical courts. This gave the Bishop's 

1 The Zurich Letters, etc., First Series, p. 74 ; cfl 55, 68, 64, 66, 68, 
100, 129, 185. Bishop Jewel called olerioal dress the "relics of the 
Amorites" (p. 52), and wished that he could get rid of the surplice (p. 100) ; 
and "the little stiver cross" in the Queen's chapel was to him an iU- 
omened thing (p. 55) ; of. Strype, Awnala, etc. I. i 260. 

* Annals, etc. i. ii. 562. 



officials who presided over the ecclesiastical courts a ver; 
free hand ; and under their manipulation there was soon 
very little left of the canon law — less, in fact, than in the 
ecclesiastical courts of any other Protestant Churches. For 
these officials were lawyers trained in civil law and imbued 
with its principles, and predisposed to apply them whenever 
it was possible to do so. 

The formulation of the Thirty-nine Articles in the Con- 
vocation of 1563 may be taken as marking the time when 
the ''alteration of religion" was completed. The result, 
arrived at during a period of exceptional storm and strain, 
has had the qualities of endurance, and the Church of 
England is at present what the Queen made it It was the 
Boyal Supremacy which secured for High Church Anglicans 
the position they have to-day. The chief features of the 
settlement of religion were : 

1. The complete repudiation within the realm and 
Church of England of the authority of the Bishop of 
Bome. All the clergy and everyone holding office under 
the Crown had to swear to this repudiation. If they 
refused, or were recusants in the language of the day, they 
lost their offices and benefices ; if they persisted in thdr 
refusal, they were liable to forfeit all their personal 
property ; if they declined to take the oath for a third 
time, they could be proclaimed traitors, and were liable to 
the hideous punishments which the age inflicted for that 
crime. But Elizabeth, with all her sternness, was never cniel, 
and no religious revolution was effected with less bloodshed. 

2, The sovereign was made the supreme Governor of 
the Church of England ; and that the title differed in name 
only from that assumed by Henry vm. was made plain in 
the following ways : 

(a) Convocation was stript of all independent l^ida* 
tive action, and its power to make ecclesiastical laws and 
regulations was placed under strict royal control^ 

^ The AdveriisemeTUg of Archbishop Parker, iasaed and enforoed on the 
authority of the Primate, to which the rojal impiimatnr was more than 
once refused, may be looked on as an exception. For theee roles, meut 


(b) Appeals from all ecclesiastical courts, which were 
themselves actually, if not nominally, under the presidency 
of civil lawyers, could be made to royal delegates who 
might be laymen ; and these delegates were given very full 
powers, and could inflict civil punishments in a way which 
had not been permitted to the old mediaeval ecclesiastical 
courts. These powers raised a grave constitutional question 
in the following reigns. The ]X)yal delegates became a 
Court of High Comnussion, which may have been modelled 
on the C!onsistories of the German I^inces, and had some- 
what the same powers. 

3. One uniform ritual of public worship was prescribed 
for all Englishmen in the Book of Common Prayer with its 
rubrics, enforced by the Act of Uniformity. No liberty of 
worship was permitted. Any clergyman who deviated 
from tMs prescribed form of worship was liable to be 
treated as a criminal, and so also were all those who 
abetted him. No one could, under penalties, seek to avoid 
this public worship. Every subject was bound to attend 
church on Sunday, and to bide the prayers and the preach- 
ing, or else forfeit the sum of twelvepence to the poor. 
Obstinate recusants or nonconformists might be ex- 
communicated, and all excommunicated persons were 
liable to imprisonment. 

4. Although it was said, and was largely true, that there 
was freedom of opinion, still obstinate heretics were liable 
to be held guilty of a capital offence. On the other hand, 
the Bishops had little power to force heretics to stand 
a trial, and, unless Parliament or Convocation ordered it 
otherwise, only the wilder sectaries were in any danger.^ 

Protestant England grew stronger year by yeaf*. The 
debased copper and brass coinage was replaced gradually by 
honest gold and silver.^ Manufactures were encouraged. 

to control the Ghnroh in the vestiarian controyeny, see G^ and Hardjr, 
Documenitj etc p. 467 ; and for the vexed question of their anthority, 
Moore, Hiatgry of the JReformation, p. 266. 

^ Maitland, Cambridge Modem History, ii 669 ff. 

* CdUndair qf State Papers, Domestie Series, pf the Bsigns of Edujard F/.. 
JTofy, anid Elisabeth, 1647-^0, p. 159. 


Merchant adventurers, hiring the Queen's ships, took an 
increasing share in the world-trade with Elizabeth as a 
partner.^ Persecuted Huguenots and Flemings settled in 
great numbers in the country, and brought with them their 
thrift and knowledge of mechanical trades to enrich the 
land of their adoption ; * and the oppressed Protestants of 
France and of the Low Countries learnt that there was a 
land beyond the sea ruled ^by a " wise young Queen " which 
might be their city of refuge, and which was ready to aid 
them, if not openly, at least stealthily. England, formerly 
unarmed, became supplied "more abundantly than any 
other country with arms, munitions, and artillery." Sound 
money, enlarged trade, growing wealth, and an increasing 
sense of security, were excellent allies to the cause of the 
Protestant Religion. 

So long as Mary of Scotland was in Holyrood and able 
to command the sympathy, if not the all^rianoe, of the 
English Boman Catholics, the throne of Elizabeth was 
never perfectly secure ; but the danger from Scotland was 
minimised by the jealousy between Catherine de' Medici and 
her daughter-in-law, and the Scottish Protestant Lords 
could always be secretly helped. When PhUip n. of Spain, 
in his slow, hesitating way, which made him always miss the 
turn of the tide, at length resolved to aid Mary to crush her 
rebels at home and to prosecute her claims on England, his 
interference bad no further consequences than to afiTord 
Elizabeth an honourable pretext for giving effectual assist- 
ance in the conflict which drove Mary from her throne, 
and made Scotland completely and permanently Protestant.' 

^ CcUeiidar of State Papers, JDomeetic Series, etc p. 247. 

' Ibid, p. 177 ; Calendar qfZeUers and State Papers retaUng to En^ith 
Affairs, preserved principally in the Arehives <^ Simcmoas, i. 77, 118, 119. 

'The story of Franoia Yaxley, Mary's agent, of his dealings with 
Philip II., of Philip's subsidy to Scotland of 20,000 orowns, of its Iom by 
shipwreck, and how the money was claimed as troasore-trore by the Duke of 
Northumberland, Boman Catholic and a pledged supporter of Mary as he 
was, may bo traced in the Calendar qf Letters and Stale Papers reiaiing to 
English Affairs, preserved principally in the Archives cf Simaneas, pp. lix, 
499, 506, 516, 528, 546, 557 ; and how the Pope also gave aid in money, 
p. 559. 





Ths revolt of Luther was the occasion for the appearance — 
the outbreak, it might be called — of a large amount of 
irregular independent thinking upon religion and theology 
which had expressed itself sporadically during the whole 
course of the Middle Ages. The great difference between 
the thinkers and their intellectual ancestors who were at 
war with the mediseval Church life and doctrine, did not 
consist in the expression of anything essentially new, but 
in the fact that the Benaissance had introduced a profound 
contempt for the intellectual structure of ecclesiastical 
dogma, and that the whole of the sixteenth century was 
instinct with the feeling of individuality and the pride of 
personal existence. The old thoughts were less careful to 
accommodate themselves to the recognised modes of theo- 
logical statement, they took bolder forms of expression, 
presented sharper outlines, and appeared in more definite 

Part of this thinking scarcely belongs to ecclesiastical 
history at alL It never became the intellectual basis of 
an institution ; it neither stirred nor moulded the lives of 
masses of men. The leaders of thought remained solitary 

thinkers, surrounded by a loose fringe of followers. But 



as there is always something immortal in the forcible ex- 
pression of human thought, their opinions have not died 
altogether, but have affected powerfully all the varioos 
branches of the Christian Church at different periods and 
in divers ways. The old conceptions, somewhat disguised, 
perhaps, but still the same, reappear in most systems of 
speculative theology. It therefore demands a brief notice. 

The greater portion of this intellectual effervescence, 
however, did not share the same &te. Menno Simons, 
aided, no doubt, by the winnowing fan of persecution, was 
able to introduce order into the wild fermenting elements 
of Anabaptism, and to form the Baptist Church which has 
had such an honourable history in Europe and America. 
Fausto Sozzini did the same for the heterogeneous mass of 
anti-Trinitarian thinking, and out of the confusion brought 
the orderly unity of an institutional life. 

This great mass of crude independent thought may be 
roughly classified as Mystic, or perhaps Pantheist Mystic, 
Anabaptist, and anti-Trinitarian ; but the division, so far 
as the earlier thinkers go, is very artificial The groups 
continually overlap ; many of the leaders of thought might 
be placed in two or in all three of these divisiona What 
characterised them all was that they had little sense of 
historical continuity, cared nothing for it, and so broke 
with the past completely; that they despaired of seeing 
any good in the historical Church, and believed that it 
must be ended, as it was impossible to mend it ; and that 
they all possessed a strong sense of individuality, believing 
the human soul to be imprisoned when it accepted the con- 
finement of a common creed, institution, or form of service 
unless of the very simplest kind. 

Pantheistic Mysticism was no new thing in Christianity. 
As early as the sixth century at least, schools of thought 
may be found which interpreted such doctrines as the 
Trinity and the Person of Christ in ways which led to 
what must be called Pantheism ; and if such modes of dis- 
solving Christian doctrines had not a continuous succession 
within the Christian Church, they were always appearing. 


They were generally accompanied with a theory of an 
** inner light " which claimed either to supersede the Scrip- 
tures as the Bule of Faith, or at least to interpret them. The 
Scriptures were the husk which might be thrown away 
when its kernel, discovered by the " inner light/' was once 
revealed. The Schwenkfelds, Weigels, Giordano Brunos of 
the sixteenth century, who used what they called the 
^ inner light " in somewhat the same way as the Council of 
Trent employed dogmatic tradition, had a long line of 
ancestry in the mediaeval Church, and their appearance at 
the time of the Beformation was only the recrudescence 
of certain phases of mediaeval thought. But, as has been 
said, such thinkers were never able, nor perhaps did they 
wish, to form their followers into a Church ; and they be- 
long much more to the history of philosophy than to an 
ecclesiastical narrative. They had no conception whatever 
of religion in the Beformation sense of the word. Their 
idea of faith was purely intellectual — something to be fed 
on metaphysics more or less refined. 

By far the most numerous of those sixteenth century 
representatives of mediaeval nonconformists were classed 
by contemporaries under the common name of Anabaptists 
or Katabaptists, because, from 1626 onwards, they all, or 
most of them, insisted on rs-baptism as the sign of belong- 
ing to the brotherhood of believers. They were scattered 
over the greater part of Europe, from Sweden in the north 
to Venice in the south, from England in the west to 
Poland in the east The Netherlands, Germany, — southern, 
north-western, and the Bhineland, — Switzerland, the Tyrol, 
Moravia, and Livonia were scenes of bloody peraecution 
endured with heroic constancy. Their leaders flit across 
the pages of history, courageous, much-enduring men, to 
whom the world was nothing, whose eyes were fixed on 
the eternal throne of God, and who lived in the calm con- 
sciousness that in a few hours they might be fastened to 
the stake or called upon to endure more dreadful and 
more prolonged tortures, — men of every varying type of 
character, from the gentle and pious young Humanist Hans 


Denck to Jan Mattbys the forerunner of the stem Cami- 
sard and Covenanter. No statement of doctrine can 
include the beliefs held in all their innumerable groups. 
Some maintained the distinctive doctrines of the mediaeval 
Church (the special conceptions of a priestly hierarchy, and 
of the Sacraments being always excluded); others were 
Lutherans, Calvinists, or Zwinglians ; some were Unitarians, 
and denied the usual doctrine of the Person of Christ ; ^ a 
few must be classed among the Pantheista All held some 
doctrine of an " inner light " ; but while some sat very loose 
to the letter of Scripture, others insisted on the most 
literal reading and application of Biblical phraseology. 
They all united in maintaining that true Christians ought 
to live separate from the world (ie. from those who were 
not rebaptized), in communities whose lives were to be 
modelled on the accounts given in the New Testament of 
the primitive Christians, and that the true Church had 
nothing whatever to do with /the Stata 

Curiously enough, the leaders in the third group, the 
anti-Trinitarians, were almost all Italians. 

The most outstanding man among them, distinguished 
alike by his learning, his pure moral life, a distinct Vein of 
piety, and the calm coui*age with which he faced every 
danger to secure the propagation of his opinions, was the 
Spaniard Miguel Servede (Servetus),' who was burnt at 

^ For example, the NikoUbwrger Articles say : " CriBtus sei in der erb- 
sunden entphangen ; Cristus sei nit Qot sunder ein prophet, dem daa 
geMprech oder wort Gottes bevoUen worden " (Gornelins, QesehiehU de$ MQn- 
tUri$ehen Aufruhrs, ii. 279, 280). 

' Servede was bom in 1511, in the small town of Tudela, which then 
belonged to Aragon. He came from an ancient family of jurists, and was 
at first destined to the profession of law. His fiuuily came originally 
from the township of Villanova, which probably accounts for the fact that 
Servede sometimes assumed that name. He was in oorresiiondence with 
Oecolampadius (Heusgen) in 1580 ; and fVom the former's letters to and 
about Servede, it is evident that tiie young Spaniard was then fully per- 
suaded about his anti-Trinitarian opinions. No publisher in Basel would 
print his book, and he travelled to Strasslmrg. When his first theological 
book became known, its sale was generally interdicted by the secular authori- 
ties. His great book, which contains his whole theological thinking, wa6 
published in 1568 without name of place or author. Its full title iai 


Geneva in 1553. He was very much a man by himself. 
His whole line of thought separated him from the rest of 
the anti-Trinitarian group associated with the names of 
the Sozzini. He reached his position through a mystical 
Pantheism — a course of thought which one might have ex- 
pected from a Spaniard. He made few or no disciples, and 
did not exert any permanent influence. 

The other anti-Trinitarians of the first rank were 
all cultured Italians, whom the spirit of the Benaissance 
prompted to criticise and reconstruct theology as they 
found it. They were all men who had been driven to 
reject the Boman Church because of its corruptions and 
immoraHties, and who had no conception of any other 
universal Christian society. Men of pure lives, pious 
after their own fashion, they never had any idea of what 
lay at the root of the Beformation thought of what real 
religion was. It never dawned upon them that the sum 
of Christianity is the God of Grace, manifest in Christ, 
accessible to every believing soul, and unwaveriug trust 
on man's part Their interest in religion was almost 
exclusively intellectual The Beformers had defined the 
Church as the fellowship of believers, and they had said 
that the marks of that fellowship were the preaching of 

Ckridianismi BedituUo, ToHub eeeUsies apostdiea ad tvta limina tfoeaHo, in 
inUgrum restUuta eogwUione Dei^ fidei Chridi, justificationis nostrott regene- 
ratianis baptisimi et canat domim mandue<Uioni8f Rtstxtuto denique 
nobis rtfpu) eoUaii, Babylonia impice captiviiate Boluta, et Antichristo cum 
9ui$penUu8 deslrueto. He entered into correspondence with Calyin, offered 
to come to Geneva to explain his position ; but the Reformer plainly indicated 
that he had no time to bestow upon him. The account of his trial, con- 
demnation, and homing at Genera is to be found in the Corpus Reforma' 
iorum, xzzvi 720 jf. The sentence is found on p. 825 : « Icy est este parle 
dn proces de Michiel Servet prisonnier et veu le sommairre dycelluy, le 
raport de ceuz esquelz Ion a consulte et considere les grands erreurs et 
blalfemes-— est este arrests U soit condampne a estre mene en Champel et la 
estre brnsle tout vyfz et soit ezequente a demain et ses livres brusles." This 
trial and execution is the one black blot on the character of Calvin. He 
was by no means omnipotent in Geneva at the time ; but he thoroughly ap- 
proved of what was done, and had expressed the opinion that if Servede came 
to Geneva, he would not leave it alive . ** Nam si venerit modo valeat met 
aucturitas, virum exire nunquam patiar" {Corpus Brf* zL 288). 


the Word arid the right use of the Bacraments — the meaos 
through which God mamfests Himfielf to men, and men 
manifest their faith in Grod. These men never ap- 
prehended this; the only idea which they seemed able 
to have of the Church was a school of definite and 
correct opinion& Compelled to flee from their native 
land, they naturally took refuge in Switzerland or in the 
Grisona It is almost pathetic to see how they utterly 
failed to understand the men among whom they found 
themselvea Beformation to them was a criticism and 
reconstruction of theology; they were simply carrying 
the criticism a little further than their new neighbours. 
They never perceived the real gulf fixed between them and 
the adherents of the Beformation. 

They were all highly educated and cultivated men — 
individual units from all parts of Italy. Camillo Benato, 
who proclaimed himself an Anabaptist, was a Sicilian. 
Gentili came from Calabria ; Gribaldo from Padua ; 
Bernardino Occhino, who in his later days joined the 
band, and the two Sozzini from Siena. Alciato was a 
Piedmontese. Blandrata (Biandrala), the most energetic 
member of the group save Fausto Sozzini, belonged to a 
noble family in Saluzzo which had long been noted for 
the protection it had afforded to poor people persecuted 
by the Church. They were physicians or lawyers; one, 
Gentili, was a schoolmaster. 

The strong sense of individuality, which seems the 
birthright of every Italian, fostered by their life within 
their small city republics, had been accentuated by the 
Benaissance. The historical past of Italy, and its political 
and social condition in the sixteenth century, made it 
impossible for the impulse towards reform to take any 
other shape than that of individual action. The strength 
and the impetus which comes from the thought of fellow- 
man, fellow-believer, and which was so apparent in the 
Beformation movements beyond the Alps and in the 
Jesuit reaction, was entirely lacking among these Be- 
formers in Italy. In that land the Empire had never 


regained its power lost under the great Popes, Gregory 
YJL and Innocent m. The Bomish Church presented 
itself to all Italians as the only possible form under 
which a wide-spreading Christian Society could be 
organised. If men rejected it, personal Christian life alone 
remained. The Church dominated the masses unprepared 
by any such conception of ecclesiastical reform as in- 
fluenced the people in Germany and Switzerland. Only 
men who had received some literary education were 
susceptible to the influenees making for Reformation. 
They were always prevented by the unbroken power of 
the agencies of the Church from organising themselves 
publicly into congregations, and could only meet to ex- 
change confidences privately and on rare occasions.^ We 
hear of several such assemblies, which invariably took the 
form of conferences, in which the members discussed and 
communicated to each other the criticisms of the mediaeval 
theology which solitary meditation had suggested to thenu 
They were much more like debating societies than the 
beginnings of a Church. Thus we hear of one at 
Vincenza,* in 1546, where about forty friends met, 
among whom was Lelio Sozzini, where they debated such 
doctrines as the Satisfaction of Christ, the Trinity, eta, 
and expressed doubts about their truth. It was inevitable 
that such men could not hope to create a popular move- 
ment towards Reformation in their native land, and also 
that they should be compelled to seek safety beyond the 
bounds of Italy. They fled, one by one, across the Alps. 
In the Grisons and in Reformed Switzerland they found 
little communities of their countrymen who had sought 

1 Bitfiohl, A eriHeal ffiatary oftha ChritUan DoctrvM of Juatificalvm and 
BeeoneiliaHon (Eng. trans., Edln. 1872), p. 295. 

' " CiroA annum 1546 institaerat (Lelius Socinns) cnm sooiis sais 
iifldem Italia, quornm numeros quadragenarium ezcedebat, in Veneta ditione 
(apud Vinoentiam) coUegia coUoqniaqne de religione, in quibus potiasimom 
dogmata yulgaria de Trinitate ao Ghristi Satisfactione bisque similia in 
dubium revocabant" {Bibl, ArUiL p. 19—1 have taken the quotation from 
Fock, Der Socinianismua fweh miner Siellang in der Oesammtentwieklwng 
d$$ ehriiUiekm CMtte$, etc., EUl, 1847, L 182). 


shelter there, and their presence was always followed 
by dissensioiis and by difficulties with the native 

Their whole habits of life and thought were not of the 
kind calculated to produce a lasting Christian fellowshipi 
Their theological opinions, which were not the outcome 
of a new and living Christian experience, but had been 
the result of an intellectual criticism of the mediaeval 
theology, had little stability, and did not tend to produce 
unity. The execution of Servede and the jealousy which 
all the Reformed cantons of Switzerland manifested 
towards opinions in any way similar to those of the 
learned Spaniard, made life in Switzerland as unsafe 
as it had been in Italy. They migrated to Poland and 
Transylvania, attracted by the freedom of thought exiflting 
in both lands. 

Poland, besides, had special attractions for refugees 
from Italy. The two countries had long been in intimate 
relationship. Italian architects had designed the stately 
buildings in Crakau and other Polish cities, and the 
commercial intercourse between the two countries was 
great. The independence and the privil^es of the 
Polish nobles secured them from ecclesiastical interference, 
and both Calvinism and Lutheranism had found many 
adherents among the aristocracy. They, like the Boman 
patricians of the early centuries, gave the security of 
their balls to their co-religionists, and the heads of the 
Romanist Church chafed at their impotence to prevent 
the spread of opinions and usages which they deemed 
heretical. In Transylvania the absence of a strong 
central government permitted the same freedom to the 
expression of every variety of religious opinion. 

The views held by the group of anti-Trinitarians 
were by no means the same. They reproduced in 
Poland the same medley of views we find existing in the 
end of the third century. Some were Sabellians, others 
Adoptianists, a few were Arians. Perhaps most of them 
believed in the miraculous birth of our Lord, and held as 


a consequence that He ought to be adored ; but a strong 
minority, under the leadership of Francis Davidis, re- 
pudiated the miraculous birth, and refused to worship 
Christ (non-adorantes). For a time they seem to have 
lived in a certain amount of accord with the members of 
the Beformed communities. A crisis came at the Polish 
Diet of 1564, and the anti-Trinitarians were recognised 
then to be a separate religious community, or ecclesia 
minor. This was the field in which Fausto Sozzini 
exercised his commanding intellect, his genius for 
organisation, and his eminently strong will. He created 
out of these jarring elements the Socinian Church. 

The Anabaptist and the Socinian movements require, 
however, a more detailed description. 



The old monotonous mode of describing Anabaptism has 
almost entirely disappeared with the modem careful exami- 
nation of sources. It is no longer possible to sum up the 

^ Sources : Magna Bibliotheea FeUrum Patrum (Colonise Agrippins, 
1618), xiii. 299-307; Sebastian Franok, Chronica, ZeUimch und Cfes- 
ehiehtbiM (Augsburg, 1565), pt iii. ; Hans Denck, Fon der toaren Lieb, 
etc. (1527— republished by the JienonUiaehc Ferlagtduchhandlung, Elkhart, 
Indiana, U.S.A.) ; Bouterwek, Zwr LUeratwr and CftsehiehU der H^ieder- 
(du/er (Bonn, 1864 — ogives extracts from the rarer Anabaptist writings such 
as the works of Hiibmaier) ; Ausbund eUieher ichfiner ekristlieher gesgng, etc 
(1588); Liliencron, "Zur Liederdichtung der WiedertAnfer " (in the 
Abhandlungen der konig. Bair, Akad, der WiesenBchaften Phihaqphieche 
Klaeae, 1878) ; Ton Zezschwitz, Die Kataehiemen der Waideneer und 
Bdmischen Bruder (Erlangen, 1868); Beck, Oeechiehtebilcher der 
JFiedertdufer in Oesireieh-Ungem, 15t6 bia 1786 (Vienna, 1888), printed 
in the FoiUes Ber, AvMr, Diplom, ei Ada, xliii. ; Keesler, SoJbhala, ed. 
by Egli and Schoch (St. Gall, 1902) ; Bullinger, Der Wiedert&uferen 
Ursprung, Seeten^ etc. (Zurich, 1560) ; Egli, ActeneamnUung zur OeeehiehU 
der ZuHeher Be/ormaiian (Zurich, 1879), Die ZUrieher WiederUnrfer 
(Zurich, 1878) ; Leopold Dickius, Adversue impios Anabaptietarum 
erroree (1583) ; Cornelius, Berichte der Augenzeugen Hber doe JiQnderische 
IFtedertduferreiehf forming the 2nd vol. of the Oeeehiehtttquelfen des 
Bisthume Mitnater (MUnster, 1858) and the Beilage in his Oeechichte des 
MUnateriachen Au/ruhra (Leipzig, 1855) ; Detmer's edition of Kerssenbroch, 
Anabaptiatiei/uroria M&naaterium inditam Weatphalia metiropolim averienlia 
historiea narration forming vols. v. and vi. of the Qekhicht^queUen dea 
Biathuma M&nater (MUnster, 1899, 1900) ; Chroniken der deutaehen StddU, 
Nurnberg Chronik, vols. i. and ir. 

Latkk Books : Keller, Oeaehiehte der JFiedertdt^fer und ihre$ Beu^ 
tu MUnaier (MUnster, 1880), JSin ApaaUl der JFiederiat^er, ffana Denek 
(Leipzig, 1882), and Die Be/ormation und die Siteren Brformparteien 
(Leipzig, 1885 — Keller is apt to make inferences beyond his facts) ; Heath, 
\ Anabaptiam, from ita riae at Zwickau to ita fall at MUnat^r, 1521-15S6 

(London, 1895) ; Belfort Bax, Biae and Fall qf th$ AndbapiieU (London, 


movement in four stages, beginning with the Zwickau 
prophets and ending with the catastrophe in Mlinster, or 
to explain its origin by calling it the radical side of 
the Reformation movement^ It is acknowledged by 
careful students to have been a very complicated affair, 
to have had roots buried in the previous centuries, and to 
have had men among its leaders who were distinguished 
Humanista It is now known that it spread over Europe 
with great rapidity, and attracted to itself an -enormously 
larger number of adherents than had been imagined. 

It is impossible within the limits of one brief chapter 
to state and criticise the various theories of the origin and 
roots of the movement which modem investigation has 

1908) ; Borich, "Die Gottesfreunde und die Winkeler am Oberrhein'* (in 
ZeUaehrift f&r hist, Theol, i. 118 ff., 1840) ; Zur OeaehiehU d&r drtmbwrg^ 
itehen Wudertaufer {Zei/sehri/i/ilr, hid. Theol. xxx. 1860) ; S.B. ten Oftto, 
Oetehiedenis der doopgezituien in Oroninffen, etc, 2 vols. (Leewarden, 1848) ; 
OtKhiedenis der docpgezinden in Friedand (Leewarden, 1889) ; OeiehiedmiiiB 
der docpgezinden in Holland en Ouelderland, 2 toIs. (Amsterdam, 1847) ; 
Tileman van Braght, ffet bloedig Toeneel ef Ma/rtdaa/re Spiegel dor 
doopgesinde (Amsterdam, 1685) ; £. B. Underhill, Maatyrology qf (h$ 
Churehee qf Christ commonly ealled Baptist (translated from Van Braght) ; 
H. S. Bnrrage, A History of the Anabaplisti in Suntaerland (founded on 
Egli's researches, Philadelphia, 1881) ; Newman, A History qf Anti- 
Pedobapiism (Philadelphia, 1897) ; Detmer, Bilder aus den reiigidsm umd 
soxialen Unruhen in MUnster wdhrend des 16 Jahrhunderts : L Joha/nn von 
Leiden (MUnster, 1908), iL Bemhard Bothmann (1904), iii Uebor die 
Auffassung von der Ehe tmd die DureJ^Uhrung der J^ieltoeiberoi in MUnster 
todhrend der TaMferherrschaft (1904) ; Heath, Contemporary Bsview, lix. 
889 ("The Anabaptists and their English Descendants"), Ixii. 880 
("HansDeuck the Baptist), Ixvii 578 (Early Anabaptism, what it meant, 
and what we owe to it), Ixx. 247 ('* Living in Community — a sketch of 
Moranan Anabaptism*'), 541 (*'The Archetype of the PUgrinCs 
Progress**), Ixxii 105 (**The Archetyiie of the Holy War*'). 

' The difference in treatment may be seen at a glanoe by comparing the 
articles on Anabaptism in the second (1877) and in the third (1896) 
edition of Herzog's Bedloneyelopddie fiJir protestantisehe Theolocjie wnd 
Kirths, Some eminent historians, however, still ding to old ideas ; for 
example, Edward Armstrong, The Emperor Charles V. (London, 1902), who 
justifies the treatment his hero meted out to the Anabaptists — roasting 
them to death before slow fires — by saying that "whonever they 
momentarily gained the upper hand, tiiey applied the praotioal methods 
of modem Anarchism or Nihilism to the professed principles of 
Communism'' (iL 842). No one who has examined the original souxoes 
could have penned such a sentenoa. 


suggested. All that can be done is to set down suocinctlj 
the conclusions reached after a tolerably wide examination 
of the sources — admitting at the same time that more in- 
formation must be obtained ere the history of the move- 
ment advances beyond the controversial stage. 

It is neither safe nor easy to make abrupt general 
statements about the causes or character of great popular 
movements. The elements which combine to bring them 
into being and keep them in existence are commonly as 
innumerable as the hues which blend in the colour of a 
mountain side. Anabaptism was such a complicated move- 
ment that it presents peculiar difficultie& As has been said, 
it had a distinct relation to two different streams of 
mediaeval life, the one social and the other religious — the 
revolts of peasants and artisans, and the successions of the 

From the third quarter of the fifteenth century social 
uprisings had taken place almost every decade, all of them 
more or less impregnated with crude religious beliefa 
They were part of the intellectual and morcd atmosphere 
that the "common man," whether in town or country 
district, continuously breathed, and their power over him 
must not be lost sight of. The Reformation movement 
quickened and strengthened these influences simply because 
it set all things in motiop. It is not possible, therefore, to 
draw a rigid line of separation between some sides of the 
Anabaptist movement and the social revolt ; and hence it 
is that there is at least a grain of truth in the conception 
that the Anabaptists were the revolutionaries of the times 
of the Eeformation. 

On the other hand, there are good reasons for asserting 
that the distinctively religious side of Anabaptism had little 
to do with the anarchic outbreaka It comes in direct 
succession from those communities of pious Christians who, 
on the testimony of their enemies, lived quiet God-fearing 
lives, and believed all the articles in the Apostles' Creed ; 
but who were strongly anti-clerical. They lived unobtrus- 
ively, and rarely appear in history save when the chronicle 


of aome town makes casual mention of their existence, or 
when an Inquisitor ferreted them out and records their so- 
called heresies. Their objections to the constitution and 
ceremonies of the mediaeval Church were exactly those of 
the Anabaptists of the sixteenth century ; and if we do not 
find a universal repudiation of infant baptism, there are 
traces that some did not approve of it. They insisted that 
the service ought to be in the vulgar tongue ; they objected 
to all the Church festivals; to all blessing of buildings, 
crosses, and candles ; they alleged that Christ did not give 
His Apostles stoles or chasubles ; they scoffed at excom* 
munications, Indulgences, and dispensations ; they declared 
that there was no regenerative efficacy in infant baptism ; 
and they were keenly alive to all the injunctions of Christian 
charity — it was better, they said, to clothe the poor than 
to expend money on costly vestments or to adorn the walls 
oi Churches, and they kept up schools and hospitals for 
lepers. They met in each other's houses for public worship, 
which took the form of reading and commenting upon the 
Holy Scriptures.^ 

As we are dependent on very casual sources of informa- 
tion, it is not surprising that we cannot trace their continue 
(ms descent down to the period of the Beformation ; but 
we do find in the earlier decades of the sixteenth century 
notices of the existence of small praying communities, 
which have all the characteristics of those recorded in the 
Inquisitors' reports belonging to the end of the fourteenth 
or beginning of the fifteenth centuries. They appeared in 
Basel in 1514, in Switzerland in 1515, in Mainz in 1518, 
and in Augsburg somewhat earher.* By the year 1524 
i'imilar " prnying circles " were recorded as existing in 
France, in the Netherlands, in Italy, in Saxony, in 
Franconia, at Strassburg, and in Bohemia. They used a 
common catechism for the instruction of their young 

^ Magna Btblioiheea Vet&rum Patrum (Golonie Agrippins, 1618), ziiL 299, 
SOO, 807 (the Summa of BMveTUB Saochonns). Of. i. 162. 

* These are the dates at which town chronicles incidentally show that 
such oommunities existed, not the dfites of their ori^n. 



people which was printed in French, Grerman, Bohemian, 
and perhaps Italian. In Germany, the Bible was the 
Gennan Vulgate — a version retained among the Anabaptists 
long after the publication of Luther's. They exhibited 
great zeal in printing and distributing the pious literature 
of the Friends of Ood of the fourteenth and fifteenth 
centuries. Many of them taught Baptist views, though 
the tenets were not universally accepted, and they were 
already called Anabaptists or Katabaptists — a term of 
reprocM^h. Some of their more distinguished leaders were 
pious Humanists, and their influence may perhaps be seen 
in the efforts made by the Brethren to print and distii- 
bute the Defensor Pads of Marsiglio of Padua^ 

This quiet Evangelical movement assumed a more 
definite form in 1524. Before that date the associations 
of pious people acted like the Pietists of the seventeenth 
or like the Wesleyans of the eighteenth century. They 
associated together for mutual edification ; they did not 
obtrusively separate themselves from the corrupt or sloth- 
ful Church. But in June 1524, delegates representing a 
very wide circle of " praying assemblies " or Beadings met 
at Waldshut, in the house of Balthasar Hiibmaier,^ bringing 
their Bibles with them, to consult how to oi^anise their 
Christian living on the lines laid down in the New Testa- 
ment. No regular ecclesiastical organisation was formed 
The Brethren resolved to separate from the Papal Church ; 
they published a Directory for Christian living, and drew 
up a statement of- principles in which they believed. 
Amongst other things, they protested against any miraculous 
efficacy in the Sacraments in general, and held that Baptism 
is efficacious only when it is received in faith. This led 
afterwards to the adoption of Baptist viewa A second 
conference was held at Augsburg in 1626, which probably 
dates the time when adult-baptism became a distinctive 
belief among all the Brethren. This conference suggested 
a General Synod which met at Augsburg in 1527 (Aug.). 
and included among its members, delegates from Munich, 

1 y^der, Balthazar JSMmaier (New York^ 1905). 


Franconia, Ingolstadt, Upper Austria, Styria, and Switzer- 
land. There they drew up a statement of doctrinal truth, 
which is very simple, and corresponds intimately with what 
is now taught among the Moravian Brethren. Their Hymn- 
book ^ does not bear any traces of the errors in doctrine 
usually attributed to them. Its chief theme is the love of 
God awakening our love to God and to our fellow-men. 
Instead of infant baptism they had a ceremony in which 
the children were consecrated to. God. Baptism was re- 
garded as the sign of conversion and of definite resolve to 
give one's self up to the worship and service of God. It 
was administered by sprinkling ; the recipient knelt to re- 
ceive it in the presence of the congregation. The Holy 
Supper was administered at stated times, and always after 
one or two days of solemn preparation. Their office- 
bearers were deacons, elders, masters and teachers, or 
pastora They distinguished between pastors who were, 
wandering evangelists and those who were attached to 
single congregations. The latter, who were ordained by the 
laying on of hands, alone had the right to dispense the 
Sacramenta All the deacons, elders, and pastors belonging 
to communities within a prescribed district, selected from 
among themselves delegates who formed their ecclesiastical 
council for the district, and this council elected one of the 
pastors to act as Bishop or Superintendent. It was the 
Superintendent who ordained by laying on of handa The 
whole of the Brethren were governed ecclesiastically by a 
series of Synods corresponding to those in the Presbyterian 
Churches. This organisation enabled the Anabaptists to 
endure the frightful persecution which they were soon to 
experience at the hands of the papal and Lutheran State 

The chief leaders were Balthasar Htibmaier and Hans 
Denck. Htibmaier was a distinguished scholar. He be- 
came, at an unusually early age. Professor of theology at 

1 Lfliencron, " Znr Liederdichtung der Wiedertaiifer,'* in the Trcm^actwng 
tf the KUniifi. Bai/r. Akad, der WieeaiKhaftet^ Philoeophiech-hietoriaeke 
Klme, 1877. 


Ingolstadt (1612); he was Bector of the famoiui High 
School in that city (1516); and Cathedral preacher at 
Begensburg (Batisbon) (1516). In 151 9» feeling that he 
could no longer conscientiously occupy such positions, he 
retired to the little town of Waldshut. Hans Denck was 
a noted Humanist, a member of the '* Erasmus circle '* at 
Basel, and esteemed the most accurate Greek scholar in the 
learned community. Conrad Grebel, another well-known 
Anabaptist leader, also belonged to the " Erasmus circle," 
and was a member of one of the patrician families of ZuricL 
like Hilbmaier and Denck, he gave up all to become an 
evangelist, and spent his life on long preaching tours. 
These facts are sufficient to refute the common statement 
that the Anabaptists were ignorant fanatics. 

Perhaps Denck was the most widely known and highly 

esteemed. In the summer of 1523 he was appointed 

^Sector of the celebrated Sebaldus School in NUmberg. 

In the end of 1524 he was charged with heresy, and 

along with him Jorg Penz, the artist, the favourite pupil 

of Albert Durer, and four others. Denck was banished 

from the city, and his name became well known. This 

trial and sentence was the occasion of his beginning that 

life of wandering evangelist which had among other 

results the conferences in 1526 and 1527, and the 

oi'ganisation above described Denck had drunk deeply 

at the well of the fourteenth and fifteenth century Mystics, 

and his teaching was tinged by many of their ideas. He 

believed that there was a spark of the divine nature in man, 

an Inner Word, which urged man to walk in the ways of 

God, and that man could always keep true to the inward 

monitor, who was none else than Christ. The accounts 

given of some of his addresses seem to be echoes of Tauler's 

famous sermon on the Bridegroom and the Bride, for he 

taught that the sufferings of the faithful are to be looked 

upon as the love-gifts of the Saviour, and are neither to 

be mourned nor resisted. We are told in the quaint 

Chronicle of Sebastian Franck, that the Baptist current 

swept swiftly through the whole land ; many thousands were 


baptized, and many hearts drawn to them. ^For they 
taught nothing but love, faith, and crucifixion of the flesh, 
manifesting patience and humility under many sufiferings, 
breaking bread with one another in sign of unity and love, 
helping one another with true helpfulness, lending, borrow- 
ing, giving, learning to have all things in common, calling 
each other 'brother/"^ He adds that they were accused 
of many things of which they were innocent, and were 
treated very tyrannically. 

The Anabaptists, like the earlier Mystics, displayed a 
strong individuality ; and this makes it impossible to 
classify their tenets in a body of doctrine which can be 
held to express the system of intellectual belief which lay 
at the basis of the whole movement. We have three 
contemporary accounts which show the divergence of 
opinion among them — two from hostile and one from a 
sympathetic historian. Bullinger' attempts a classifica- 
tion of their different divisions, and mentions thirteen 
distinct sects within the Anabaptist circle; but they 
manifestly overlap in such a way as to suggest a very 
large amount of difference which cannot be distinctly 
tabulated. Sebastian Franck^ notes all the varieties of 
views which Bullinger mentions, but refrains from any 
classification. " There are," he says, " more sects and 
opinions, which I do not know and cannot describe, but 
it appears to me that there are not two to be found 
who agree with each other on all pointa" Kessler,^ 
who recounts the story of the Anabaptists of St. Gallen, 
notes the same great variety of opinions. 

It is quite possible to describe the leading ideas taught 
by a few noted men and approved of by their immediate 
circle of followers, and so to arrive with some accuracy 
at the popularity of certain leading principles among 
different parties, but it must be remembered that no great 

> Ohroitica (Augsbnig edition, 1666), t 164. 

' Der JFiedertdu/eren Urapnmg, Furqamg^ S$cUn, eto. (Zurich, 1660). 

> Chrcmea (8 pts., Straflsburg, 1581). 

« SMaia (ed. by Egli and Schoch, St. Gall, 1902). 


leader imposed his opinions on the whole Anabaptist 
circle, and that the views held at different times by pro* 
minent men were not invariably the sentiments which lay 
at the basis of the whole movement. 

The doctrine of passive resistance was held by almost 
all the earlier Anabaptists, but it was taught and practised 
in such a great variety of ways that a merely general state- 
ment gives a misleading idea. All the earlier Anabaptists 
believed that it was unchristian to return evil for evil, and 
that they should take the persecutions which came to them 
without attempting to retaliate. Some, like the young 
Humanist, Hans Denck, pushed the theory so far that they 
believed that no real Christian could be either a magistrate 
or a soldier. A small band of Anabaptists, to whom one 
of the Counts of lichtenstein had given shelter at Nikols- 
burg, told their protector plainly that they utterly dis- 
approved of his threatening the Austrian Commissary 
with armed resistance if he entered the Nikolsburg 
territory to seize them. In short, what is called " passive 
resistance " took any number of forms, from the ordinary 
Christian maxim to be patient under tribulation, to that 
inculcated and practised by the modem sect of Dimkhers. 

The followers of Melchior Hoffmann, called " Melchior- 
ites," held apocalyptic or millenarian views, and expected 
in the near future the return of Christ to reign over His 
saints ; but there is no reason to suppose that this con- 
ception was very widely adopted, still less that it can be 
called a tenet of Anabaptism in general All the Ana- 
baptists inculcated the duty of charity and the claims of 
the poor on the richer members of the community ; but 
that is a common Christian precept, and does not necessarily 
imply communistic theories or practices. All that can 
be definitely said of the whole Anabaptist circle was that 
they did keep very clearly before them the obligations of 
Christian love. The so-called Communism in Mlinster 
will be described later. 

When we examine carefully the incidental records 
of contemporary witnesses observing their Anabaptist 


neighbours, we reach the general conclusion that their 
main thought was to reproduce in their own lives what 
seemed to them to be the beliefs, usages, and social 
practices of the primitive Christians. Translations of the 
Bible and of parts of it had been conmion enough in 
Germany before Luther's days. The "common man," 
especially the artisan of the towns, knew a great deal 
about the Bible. It was the one book he read, re-read, and 
pondered over. Fired with the thoughts created in hiB 
mind by its perusal, simple men felt impelled to become 
itinerant preachers. The " call " came to them, and they 
responded at once to what they believed to be the divine 
voica Witness Hans Ber of Alten-Erlangen, a poor 
peasant He rose from his bed one night and suddenly 
began to put on his clothes. ''Whither goest thou/" 
asked his poor wifa ''I know not; God knoweth,'* he 
answered. "What evil have I done thee? Stay and 
help me to bring up my little children." "Dear wife," 
he answered, "trouble me not with the things of time. 
I must away, that I may learn the will of the Lord." ^ Such 
men wandered about in rude homespun garments, often 
barefooted, their heads covered with rough felt hata They 
craved hospitality in houses, and after supper produced 
their portions of the Bible, read and expounded, then 
vanished in the early morning. We are told how Hans 
Hut came to the house of Franz Strigel at Weier in 
Franconia, produced his Bible, read and expounded, 
explained the necessity of adult baptism, convinced Strigel, 
the house father, and eight others, and baptized them there 
and then. He wandered forth the same night None 
of the baptized saw him again ; but the little community 
remained — a small band of Anabaptista' 

These wandering preachers, " prophets " they may be 
called if we give them the early Christian name, were not 
drilled in any common set of opiniona Each conceived 

1 0. A. Oorneliiu, GeschiehU des MUntUriathen Avfruhtn (Leipzig, 1855), 

•iMi. iL49. 


the primitive teaching and social life as he seemed to see 
it reflected in the New Testament ; and no two conceptions 
were exactly the sama The circumstances and surroundings 
produced an infinite variety of thought about the doctrines 
and usages which ought to be accepted and practised. 
Yet they had traditional modes of interpretation handed 
down to them from the praying circles of the '' Brethren." 
Compare what the Austrian Inquisitor says of the 
'' Brethren " in the thirteenth century, with what Johann 
Eessler tells about the Anabaptists of St Grallen, and 
the resemblance is striking so far as external appearance 
goes. " Haeretici cognoscuntur per mores et verba/' says 
the Inquisitor. ''Sunt enim in moribus compositi et 
modeeti ; superbiam in vestibus non habent, nee pretioeis, 
neo multum abjectis utuntur. . . . Doctoree etiam 
ipeorum sunt sutores et textores. Divitias non multi- 
plicant, sed necessariis sunt contentL Casti etiam sunt. 
. . . Temperati etiam in cibo et pottL Ad tabernad 
non eunt, nee ad choreas, nee ad alias vanitates. Ab ira 
se cohibent ; semper operantur, discunt vel decent, et ideo 
parum orant. . . . Cognoscuntur etiam in verbis prseoiBis 
«t modestis. Cavent etiam a scurrilitate et detractione, 
et verborum levitate, et mendacio, et juramento." ^ Kessler 
tells us that the walk and conversation of these Anabaptists 
was " throughout pious, holy, and blameless " ; that they 
refrained from wearing costly apparel, despised luxurious 
eating and drinking, clothed themselves in rough doth, 
wore slouch hats on their heada Franck relates that 
they refused to frequent wine-shops and the " gild " rooms 
where dances were held. 

As they lived again the life of these mediaeval sectaries, 
BO they reproduced their opinions in the same sporadic way. 
Some of them objected to all war even in self-defence, 
as did some of the earlier Lollards. Their Lord had said 
to His first disciples: "Go your ways: behold, I send 
you forth as lambs in the midst of wolves." They flung 

^ Magna Bibliotfieea FeUrum Patmm (Golonia Agrippiua, 1618V 
Bainerii Socohoni, Summa, o. viL 


from them the sword, with which peasant and artisan were 
then alike girt, and went about as the apostles were ordered 
to do, with staves in their hands — the Stabler or staffmen who 
would have nothing to do with the weapons of wolves. 
Others, also like some of the Lollards, would not enter the 
** huge stone houses with great glass windows which men 
called 'churches.'" The early Christians had preached 
and "broken bread" in houses; and they would follow 
their example ; and in private rooms, in the streets, in the 
market-places^ they proclaimed their gospel of peace and 
contentment The infinitesimal number who taught some- 
thing like ** free love," and who were repudiated by the 
others, were reproducing the vagaries of the mediaeval 
Brethren and Sisters of the Free Spirit, who gave Meister 
Eckhart so much trouble centuries before in the Bhineland. 
All the more extravagant ideas and practices which appear 
among small sections of these Anabaptists of the sixteenth 
century can be foimd among the sectaries of the Middle 
Ages. For the whole Anabaptist movement was mediaeval 
to the core ; and, like most of the mediaeval religious awaken- 
ings, produced an infinite variety of opinions and practices. 
The one idea common to all was, that the Christians of the 
sixteenth century were called to reproduce in thought and 
life the intellectual beliefs and usages of the primitive 
Christians. It is simply impossible to give any account of 
opinions and practices which were v/rwDersaUii prevalent 
among them. Even the most widely spread usages, adult 
baptism and the *' breaking of bread," were not adopted in 
all the divisions of the Anabaptists 

What is more, they were modern enough, at least in 
the earlier stages of the movement, to be conscious of this 
(which the Mystics were not), and to give it expression* 
All felt and thought as did a " simple man," Hans Mtiller 
of Medikon, when brought before the Zurich magistrates : 
** Do not lay a burden on my conscience, for faith is a gift 
given freely by God, and is not common property. The 
mystery of God lies hidden, like the treasure in the field, 
which no one can find but he to whom the Spirit shows it 


So I beg you, ye servants of God, let my faith stand free." ' 
And the Anabaptists, alone of all the religious parties in 
those strenuous times, seem to have recognised that what 
they claimed for themselves they were bound to grant to 
others. Great differences in opinion did not prevent the 
strictest brotherly fellowship. Hans Denck held a doctrine 
of non-resistance as thoroughgoing as that of Coimt Tolstoy, 
and fully recognised the practical consequences to which it 
led. But this did not prevent the ardent and gifted young 
Humanist working loyally with Hiibmaier, who did not share 
his extreme opinions The divergences among the leaders 
appeared in their followers without destroying the sense of 
brotherhood. Franck tells us in his Chronicle ' that some, 
but very few, held that no Christian, could enter the 
magistracy, for Christians had nothing to do with the sword» 
but only with spiritual excommunication, and that no 
Christian should fight and slay. The others, he says, in- 
cluding the very great majority, believed that Christians 
might become magistrates, and that in case of dire necessity 
and when they clearly saw the leading of God, might take 
their share in fighting as soldiers. 

Melchior Hoffmann, while he believed in the incarna- 
tion, held that Jesus received His flesh directly from G^, 
and did not owe His body to the Virgin Mother, through 
whom He passed "as light through a pane of glass." 
He also held that the whole history of the world, down 
to the last days, was revealed in Scripture, and could be 
discovered through prayer and meditation. He was an 
eloquent and persuasive preacher, and his views were 
accepted by many; but it would be a great mistake to 
assume that they were shared in by the Anabaptists as a 
community. Yet even contemporaries, who were opponents, 
usually attribute the extreme opinions of a few to the entire 

It ought to be observed that this tolerance of different 
opinions within the one society did not extend to those 

1 Egli, Die Z&richer fTiederiaufer (Zurich, 1878), p. 96. 
* Folio 158^ of the Augsburg fdition of 1566. 


who remained true to the State Churches, whether Bomanist 
or Beformed The Aiiabaptifit6 would have nothmg to do 
with a State Church ; and this was the main point in their 
separation from the Lutherans, Zwinglians, and Calvinists. 
It was perhaps the one conception on which all parties 
among them were in absolute accord. The real Church, 
which might be small or great, was for them an association 
of believing people ; and the great ecclesiastical institutions 
into which unconscious infants were admitted by a ceremony 
called baptism long before they could have or exercise faith, 
represented to them an idea subversive of true Christianity. 
They had no wish to persecute men who differed widely 
from them, but they would not associate with them. This 
enforced ** separation," like everything else connected with 
Anabaptism, differed considerably in the way in which it 
was carried into practice. In some of the smaller sections it 
appeared in very extravagant forma Wives and husbands, 
Anabaptists whose partners belonged to the State Churches, 
were in some small sections advised to refuse cohabita- 
tion. It is more than probable that some recorded sayings 
on which opponents have founded charges of encouraging 
sexual irregularities, — that it was better for women to have 
connection irregularly with members of the brotherhood 
than to cohabit with unbelieving husbands, — were simply 
extravi^ant ways of expressing this duty of separation. 

It is also true that as time went on and sects of ex- 
treme opinions multiplied, the excommunication of members 
for their views came to be a common practice. It was as 
frequent among some of the smaller divisions as it is among 
modem Plymouth Brethren ; but the occasion was, as a rule, 
difference of opinion about the way to express and exercise 
the duty of not returning evil for evil — was it permitted 
to pay taxes or not ? was it lawful to see without protest 
their protectors using force to prevent their enemies from 
attacking them, etc. ? 

The earlier ideas of non-resistance, whatever practical 
shape they might take, gave way before the continuous and 
teiTible persecution which the Anabaptists had to endure. 


They were first definitely condemned by Melchior Hofimann 
and his followers. They believed in the speedy establish- 
ment on earth of the millennial kingdom of Christ, and 
they declared that they were ready to fight for it when it 
appeared. With them the conception was simply a pious 
opinion, and they had no occasion to reduce it to action. 
The Anabaptists, however, who followed the teaching of 
Jan Matthys and of his disciple Jan Boekelson, repudiated 
passive resistance both in theory and in practice. 

Of course, there are many things about some, perhaps 
all, great religious awakenings* which critics can lay hold of 
to their disparagement ; and it was so with the Anabaptist 
movement. Everything, from the scientific frame of mind 
to the religious sensibility, has the defects of its qualities. 
When a man is seized and possessed by a new spiritual 
emotion which seems to lift him above all previous ex- 
perience of life or of thought, all things are new to him, 
and all things seem possibla His old life with its limita- 
tions has departed. He is embarked on a sea which has 
no imprisoning shorea He is carried along on a great 
current of emotion, and others are borne with him. Human 
deep calleth unto deep when they exchange confidenoe& 
He and his fellows have become new creatures ; and that 
is almost all that they know about themselves. Such 
experiences are quite consistent with soundness of mind 
and clearness of vision of God and Divine things — that 
is usual ; but sometimes they are too powerful for the 
imperfect mind which holds them. The converts are 
" puffed up,'' as St. Paul said. Then arise morbid 
states, distorted vision, sometimes actual shipwreck of 
mental faculties, not seldom acute religious mania. 
Leaders in a great religious awakening have always to 
reckon with such developments — St. Paul, Francis of 
Assisi, Eckhart, Taider, to say nothing of modem instances. 
The Apostle addressed morbid souls with severe sarcasnL 
Did any man really think, he asked, that to commit 
incest, to take to wife his father's widow, was an example 
of the freedom with which Christ had made them free ? 


The Anabaptist movement had its share of such oases, 
like other religious movements; they g^ew more frequent 
as the unfortunate people were maddened by persecution; 
and these exoeptional incidents are invcuiably retailed at 
length by historians hostile to the movement. 

The Anabaptists, as a whole, were subjected to persecu- 
tions, especially from the Romanists and the Lutherans, 
much more harsh than befell any of the religious parties 
of the sixteenth centiiry. Their treatment in Zurich 
may be taken as an example of how they came in contact 
with the civil authorities, and how their treatment grew in 

The Swiss Anabaptists were in no sense disciples of 
Zwingli They bad held their distinctive principles and 
were a recognised community long before Zwingli came 
from Einsiedeln, and were the lineal descendants of the 
mediseval Waldenses. They welcomed the Beformer ; some 
of them were in the company who challenged the authorities 
by eating meat during Lent in 1622 ; but a fundamental 
difference soon emerged. After the Public Disputation of 
1623, when it became dear that Zurich meant to accept 
the Beformation, a deputation of the Brethren appeared 
before the Council to urge their idea of what a Beformed 
Church should be. Their statement of principles is an 
exposition of the fundamental conceptions which lay at the 
basis of the whole Anabaptist movement, and explains why 
they could not join either the Lutheran or the Beformed 
branch of the Beformation ChurcL They insisted that 
an Evangelical Church must differ from the Boman Church 
in this among other things, that it should consist of 
members who had made a pei'sonal profession of faith in 
their Saviour, and who had vowed to live in obedience to 

^The Swiss Anabaptists have been selected because we have very full 
oontemporaiy documentary evidence in their case. Cf. Egli, Actendamm- 
hing zur OttoMehU der ZiirUiher JU/omuUum (Zurich, 1879) ; Die Zurieher 
WUdert&ufw (Zurich, 1878) ; Die St, Oaller fFiedertdu/er (Zurich). 

The documentary evidence given in Egli's works has been condensed and 
summarised by H. S. Burrage, A MitUny qf fhs AnabapHiU in Switaerland 
(Philadelphia, ISSl). . 


Jesus Christ their Hauptvumn, It could not be lik<3 a 
State Church, whether Bomanist or other, to which people 
belonged without any individual profession of faith. They 
insisted that the Church, thus formed, should be free from 
all civil control, to decide for itself what doctrines and cere- 
monies of worship were founded on the Word of Gk>d, and 
agreeable thereto, and should make this decision according 
to the opinions of a majority of the members. They further 
asked that the Church should be free to exercise, by 
brotherly admonition and, as a last resort, by excommunica- 
tion, discipline on such of its members as offended against 
the moral law. They also declared that the Church which 
thus rejected State control ought to refuse State support, 
and proposed that the tithes should be secularised. The 
New Testament, they said, knew nothing about interest and 
usury, tithes, livings, and prebends. 

These views were quite opposed to the ideas of the 
Zurich Council, who contemplated a State Church reformed 
from Bomanist abuses, but strictly under the control of the 
State, and supported by the tithes, as the mediaeval Church 
had been. They refused to adopt the ideas of the Anabap- 
tists; and this was the beginning of the antagonism. 
The Council found that the great majority of the petitioners 
had doubts about infant baptism, and were inclined to what 
are now called Baptist views ; and they brought matters to 
a crisis by ordering a Public Disputation on Baptism (Jan. 
17th, 1525). Among the Anabaptists who appeared to 
defend their principles, were young Conrad Grebel the 
Humanist, Felix Manz, and Brother Jorg from Jacob's 
House, a conventual establishment near Chur, who is 
always called " Blaurock " (Blue-coat). They were op- 
posed by Zwingli, who insisted that infant baptism must be 
maintained, because it took the place of circumcision. The 
Council decided that Zwingli's contention was right, and 
they made it a law that aU chiidren must he baptized, and 
added that all persons who refused to have their children 
baptized after Feb. 1st, 1625, were to be arrested. The 
Anabaptists were not slow to answer the challenge thus 


given. They met, and after deliberation and prayer Blau- 
rock asked Conrad Grebel to baptize him in a truly Chris* 
tian fashion, " there being no ordained person present*** and 
Grebel did sa ''When this had been done the others 
entreated Blaorock to baptize them, which he did ; and in 
deep fear of the Lord they gave themsdves to Grod.* They 
resolved to preach and baptize, because in this they ought 
to obey God rather than men.^ 

When the Council heard that adult baptism had 
begun, they enacted that all who had been rebaptized 
after Feb. 8th (1525) were to be fined a silver mark, and 
that whoever was baptized after the issue of their decree 
should be banished. They also imprisoned the leaders. 
When they found that neither fines, nor threats, nor 
imprisonment, nor banishment had any effect on the 
Anabaptists, the Town Council thought to terrify them by 
a death sentence. Two were selected, Manz and Blaurock. 
The latter was not a citizen, and the sentence of death was 
commuted to one of public scourging and being thrust out 
of the town; but Felix Manz, a townsman, was put to 
death by drowning (1527). Zwingli insisted that this 
judicial murder was not done because of baptism, but 
because of n^bellion ! 

What was done in Reformed Switzerland was seen all 
over Soman Catholic and Lutheran Germany. It is only 
fair to say that the persecution was more murderous within 
the Somanist districts ; but the only Lutheran Prince who 
refused to permit a death penalty on Anabaptism was 
Philip of Heese He was afterwards joined by the Elector 
of Saxony. 

In 1527 (Aug. 26th), the Archduke Ferdinand of 
Austria published an imperial mandate threatening all 
Anabaptists with the punishment of death. Two months 
later, two thousand copies of this proclamation were sent 
to the provinces of the German Empire, caUing on the 
authorities to extirpate these unfortunate peopla The 

^ The scene ib described in BecV, Die Getehiehts-SUeher der WieiUrtduftt 
i» Odrei^Ungem wm 1526 bis 1786 (Vienna, 1888). 


ruIerB in Sabbuig and in the lyrol obejed ihe order 
at once, and a fierce persecution soon raged. The minds 
of the population were inflamed by infamous calumnies. 
It was said in Salzburg that the Anabaptists had planned 
to massacre all the priests and monks within the princi- 
pality. The well-known dislike of the brethren to war 
was tortured into the accusation that on a Turkish 
invasion they would side with the enemy against all loyal 
Germans. A certain Leopold Dickius, who wrote an 
atrocious book against the Anabaptists, demanded that all 
the men should be slain and the women and children 
suffered to perish from starvation; in this way only, he 
said, could their errors be stamped out. 

The Salzburg chronicler, Kilian Leib, a Bomanist, gives 
details of the persecution. He tells us that men, women, 
and young maidens suffered death by fire, beheading, 
and drowning, not only uncomplainingly, but with solemn 
joy. He dwells on the case of " a beautiful young girl " 
of sixteen, whose gentle innocence excited universal 
compassion, and who utterly refused to recant. The 
executioner pinned her hands to her sides, plunged her 
head downwards into a horse trough, held her there till 
she was suffocated, and then took her body away to bum 
it. The official lists show that the victims came from all 
classes in society. Noblemen, girdle-makers, wallet-makers, 
shoemakers, a town clerk, and ex-priesta 

The persecution in the Tyrol was severe and thorough. 
A large number of the miners of the district were Ana- 
baptists, and it was resolved to root out the so-called 
heresy. Descriptions were published of prominent 
Anabaptists, who wandered from place to place en- 
couraging their brethren to steadfastness. "One named 
Mayerhofer has a long brown beard and wears a grey 
soldier's coat ; a companion, tall and pale, wears a long 
black coat with trimming ; a third* is shorter ; a fourth, 
thin and of a ruddy complexion, is known as a cutler.*' 
Conrad Braun, an assessor to the imperial Chamber and 
an eye-witness to the persecutions, wrote, — *' I have seep 


with my own eyes that notbing has been able to bring 
back the Anabaptists from then: errors or to make them 
recant. The hardest imprisonment, hunger, fire, water, the 
sword, all sorts of frightful executions, have not been able 
to shake them. I have seen young people, men, women, go 
to the stake singing, filled with joy ; and I can say that in 
the course of my whole life nothing has moved me more." * 
In the Tyrol and Gorz the number of executions by the 
year 1531 amounted to a thousand, according to the 
chronicler Kirchmayr. Sebastian Franck reckons the 
number in Enisheim, within the government of Upper 
Austria, at six hundred. Seventy-three martyrs suffered 
in Linz within six weeks. The persecution in Bavaria was 
particularly severe ; Duke William ordered that those who 
recanted were to be beheaded, and those who refused were 
to be burned. The general practice, made a law by 
Ferdinand of Austria in 1529 (April 23rd), was that only 
preachers, baptizers. Baptists who refused to recant, and 
those who had relapsed after recantation, were to be 
punished with death.' 

In these bloody persecutions, which raged over almost 
all Europe, most of the earlier leaders of the Anabaptists 
perished ; but the gi*eat body of their followers were neither 
intimidated nor disposed to abjure their teaching. Per- 
secution did not come unexpectedly. No one was admitted 
into an Anabaptist community without being warned of the 
probable fate which lay before him. Baptism was a vow 
that he would be constant unto death ; the " breaking of 
bread " strengthened his faith ; the sermon was full of 
exhortations to endurance unto the end. Their whole 
service of worship was a preparation for and an expectation 
of martyrdom. 

The strain of Christian song seemed to rise higher 
with the fires of persecution. Most of the Anabaptist 

^ The history of the persecution in the Tyrol is to be found in J. Loaerth, 
Anabaptiamua in Tirol ; and in Kirchmayr, DenktoUrdigkeUen aeifner ZtU^ 
1619-63^ pt. i. in Pontes Serum Austriaearwnt L 417-584. 

'Cornelius, OeaehichU de$ MUntteriseken Aufruhrs (Leipzig, 1855), iL 58. 




hymns belong to the time when their sufferings were 

greatest. Some are simply histories of a martyrdom, as 

of Jorg Wagner at Munich, or of the " Seven Brethren at 

Gemiind;" They are all echoes of endurance where the 

pQotes of the sob; the trust, the warning, the hosanna of a 

time of martyrdom, blend iQ rough heroic strains. They 

sing of Christ, who in these last days has manifested 

Himself that the pure word of His Gospel may again 

run through the earth as it did in the days of the early 

Church. They tell how the arch-enemy of souls seeks to 

protect himself against the advancing host of Jesus by 

exciting bloody persecutions. They utter warnings against 

false prophets, ravening wolves in sheep's clothing, who 

beset all the paths of life leading towards the true fold, 

who pour forth threats and curses against the people of 

God, and urge on the rulers of this world to torture and 

to slay. They depict how the evil world storms against 

the true Church, shrieks out lies against the true followers 

of Jesus, and threatens them with burnings and all 

manner of cruel deaths. They mourn that the disciples 

of Jesus are slaughtered like sheep who have lost their 

shepherd ; that they wander in wildernesses full of thorns 

that tear ; that they have their homes like the night-birds 

among the cliffs or in the clefts of the rocks ; that they 

are snared in the nets of the fowler; that they are 

hunted with hounds like the hares. Others, inspired 

by the internal hope which lives undying in every 

Christian heart, tell how Christ the Bridegroom seeks the 

love of the soul His bride, and how He wins her to 

Himself by His love-gifts of trial and of suffering, till at 

last the marriage feast is held, and the soul becomes 

wholly united to her Lord. The thoughts and phrases 

of the old Hebrew prophets, of the Psalmist, of the 

hymns of the Apocalypse, which have fed the fears 

and the hopes of longing, suffering, trusting generations 

of Christian people, reappear in those Anabaptist hymns. 

Life is for them a continuous Holy War, a Pilgrim's 

Progress through an evil world full of snares, of dangers^ 




of temptations, until at last the weaiy feet tread the 
Delectable Mountains, the River of Death is passed, and 
the open gates of the heavenly Jerusalem receive the 
^^yfarer who has persevered to the end. 

These poor persecuted people naturally sought for 
some city of refuge, i.«. a municipality or district where 
baptism of children was not enforced under penalties, and 
where the re-baptism of adults was not punished by 
imprisonment, torture, and death. For a time they found 
many such asylums. The Anabaptists were for the most 
j)art good workmen, and patient and provident cultivators 
of the soil, ready to pay all dues but the unscriptural 
war-tax. They were a source of wealth to many a great 
landed proprietor who was willing to allow them to live 
their lives in peace. Moravia, East Friesland, and, 
among the municipalities, Augsburg, Worms, and Strass- 
burg gave shelter until the slow determined pressure of the 
higher authorities of the Empire compelled them to act 
otherwisa All that the Anabaptists desired was to be 
allowed to live in peace, and we hear of no great disturb- 
ances caused by their presence in any of these '* cities of 

This brings us to what has been called ** The Kingdom 
of God in Miinster," and to the behaviour of the Ana- 
baptists there — the communism, polygamy, and so forth,, 
which are described in all histories of the time& 

Mtinster was the capital of the large and important 
ecclesiastical principality which bears the same name. 
The bishop was a Prince of the German Empire, and 
ruled his principality with all the rights of a secular prince. 
Clergy filled almost all the important posts of govern- 
ment ; they levied taxes on imports and exports ; the rich 
canonries of the cathedral were reserved for the sons of 
the landed gentry ; the townspeople had no share in the 
richer benefices, and chafed under their clerical rulers. 
The citizens lived in a state of almost permanent dis- 
afTection, and their discontent had frequently taken the 
form of civic insurrectioii& They rose in 1526, in 1527 


(in which year the name of a wealthy burgher, Bernard 
KnipperdoUing, first appears as a leader of his fellow- 
citizens), and in 1529, the dreadful year of famine and 
plague.^ Many have been disposed to see in these 
emevieSf anticipations of the struggle which followed ; but 
nothing in the sources warrants the conclusion. They 
were simply examples of the discontent of the unprivileged 
classes which had been common enough in Germany for 
at least a century. 

The city of Miinster had been slow to receive the 
religious Beformation, but in 1529 the people began to 
listen to the preaching of an obscure young chaplain 
attached to the Church of St. Maurice, built outside the 
walls of the town.' Bemhard Bothmann was a scholar, 
imbued with Humanist culture, gifted with the power of 
clear reasoning, and with natural eloquence. It is probable 
that he had early been attracted by the* teaching of 
Luther ; ' but while he dwelt upon justification by faith, 
his sermons were full of that sympathy for the down- 
trodden toiling masses of the community which was a 
permanent note in all Anabaptist tectching. His sermons 
were greatly appreciated by the townsfolk, especially by 
the artisans, who streamed out of - the gate to hear the 

^ The disease was known as the English plague or the sweating siokness. 
It is thus described by Hecker (Ejndemics <^ the Middle Ages, p. 181) : 
** It was Tiolent inflammatory fever, which, after a short rigour, prostrated 
the powers as with a blow ; and amidst painful oppression at the stomach, 
headache, and lethargic stupor, suffused the whole body with foetid 
perspiration. All this took place within the course of a few hours, and the 
crisis was always over within the space of a day and a night. The internal 
heat that the patient suffered was intolerable, yet every refrigerant was 

'Bothmann was born at Stadtlohn, and reoelTed the rudiments of 
education in the village school there ; a relation sent him to the Gymnasium 
at MUnster ; he studied afterwards at Kainz, where he received the degree ot 
M.A. ; he was made chaplain in the St. Maurioe ohuroh at Mttnster 
about 1526. 

* His confession of faith, published in Latin and German in 1682, shows 
this. I know it only by the summary in Detmer {Bemhard Bothmtum^ 
MUnster, 1904, pp. 41/.). Detmer says that he knows of only one printed 
copy, which is in the University Library at Miinster. 


young chaplain of St. Maurice. Was be not one of 
themselves, the son of a poor smith! The cathedral 
Canons, who, in the absence of the Bishop, had the 
oversight of all ecclesiastical affairs, grew alarmed at his 
popularity. Their opportunity for interference came when 
the mob, excited, they said, by Bothmann's denunciations 
of relic and image worship, profaned the altars, tore the 
pictures, and destroyed the decorations in St. Maurice on 
the eve of Good Friday, 1531. Bothmann's influence 
with the townsmen might have enabled him to defy the 
Canons, especially as the Prince Bishop, Friedrich von 
Wied, showed no inclination to molest the chaplain, and 
was himself suspected of Evangelical sympathies. But 
he quietly left the town and spent a year in travelling. 
He visited Wittenberg, where he made the acquaintance 
of Luther, Melanchthon, and Bugenhagen ; went to Marburg, 
Speyer, and Strassburg. At Strassburg he had long 
intercourse with Capito and with Schwenkfeld the Mystic, 
who is frequently classed with the Anabaptists. An 
irresistible impulse seems to have drawn him back to 
Miinster, where he was welcomed by the people, and the 
church of St. Maurice became henceforth the centre of a 
movement for religious Beformatioh ; the preacher was 
supported by the " gilds " of artisans and by most of the 
citizens, among whom the most noted was Bernhard 

An energetic protest by the Canons induced the 
Bishop to inhibit Bothmann from preaching in St. Maurice. 
He continued his addresses in the churchyard of St. 
Lambert (Feb. 18th, 1532), and a few days later he was 
placed in possession of the church itself. St. Lambert's 
had been built by the municipality, and was the property 
of the town. Bothmann was appointed by the Town 
Council Evangelical preacher to the town, and was given 
one of the town's ** gild '' houses for a parsonage. 

Two months later the Bishop resigned, and was 
succeeded by Duke Erich of Brunswick-Grubenhagen, 
already Bishop of Osnabriick and Paderbom. The new 


Bishop determined to get rid of Bothmaim. He made 
representations to Hesse and Electoral Saxony and other 
Evangelical Powers, and persuaded them to induce the 
more moderate of the reforming party in Miinster to 
abandon Botfamann; and, this done, the preacher was 
ordered to leave the dty. The "gilds" of artisans 
refused to let their preacher depart, and, under the 
leadership of KnipperdoUing,^ drafted a letter to the 
authorities declaring their determination to retain him at 
all hazard& The democracy of Miinster and the religious 
movement for the first time openly combined against the 
authorities of the city. 

While things were at this pass, the Bishop died (May 
1 3th, 1 6 3 2). The Chapter elected (June 1 st) Count Franz 
von Waldeck, already in possession of Miaden, and made 
Bishop of Osnabriick a few days later (June 11th) — a 
pluralist of the first rank The reforming party in 
Miinster expected the worst from their new ruler. A 
full assembly of the " gilds " of the town was held, and 
by an overwhelming majority the members pledged them- 
selves to defend their pastor and his Gospel with body 
and goods while life lasted A committee of thirty-six 
burghers was elected to watch the course of events and 
to take counsel with the civic rulers and the presidents of 
the "gilds." Bothmann published tJie^es explaining his 
teaching, and challenging objectors to a public disputa- 
tion. Public meetings were held; the .Town Council 
was formally requested to hand over all the parochial 
churches to Evangelical preachers; which was done — 
the Cathedral alone remaining for Boman Catholic 

These proceedings produced unavailing remonstrances 
from the Bishop. The nobles in the neighbourhood tried 
to interfere, but to no purpose. In October (1532) the 

^ BerDArd Enipperdolling or Enipperdollinck (both forms are found) 
was a wealthy cloth merchant, an able and fervent speaker, a man of 
strong convictions, who had early espoused the people's cause, and bad 
become the trusted leader of the democracy of Mttnster. 


Bishop's party within the town began to take action. 
They attempted, to sequester the goods of the more 
prominent disaffected citizens; chains were placed across 
the principed streets to prevent communication between 
the different quarters; an attempt was made to isolate 
the town itself. These things meant war.. The 
"gilds," always a military organisation in mediseval 
cities, armed. A party of knights sent to invade the 
town retired before the armed citizens. While the 
Bishop sought to strengthen himself by alliances and to 
beguile the townsmen by negotiation, a thousand armed 
burghers marched by night to the Uttle township of 
Telgte, where a large number of the ecclesiastical .and 
secular nobles were encamped, surrounded it, captured 
the Bishop's partisans, and returned to hold them as 
hostages. This act afforded the occasion for the inter- 
vention of Philip of Hesse. An arrangement was come 
to by which Munster was declared to be an Evangelical 
city and enrolled within the Schmalkald League. The 
history of Munster up to this time (Feb. 14th,' 1533) 
did not differ from that of many towns which had 
adopted the Beformation. Sothmann had been the 
leader in Munster, like Brenz in Hall, Alber in Beutlingen, 
or Lachmann at Heilbron. 

It is usually assumed that up to this time Bothmann 
was a Lutheran in his teaching, that he had won Munster 
for the great Lutheran party, and that his future aberra- 
tions from the Evangelical theology were due to his 'weakniess 
before the Anabaptist mob who later invaded the city. 
This seems to be a mere assumption. He had certainly 
taught justification by faith ; but that did not make him 
a Lutheran. The dividing line between the various 
classes of objectors to the Boman Catholic theology in 
the sixteenth century was drawn at the meaning of the 
Sacraments, and especially of the Lord's. Supper. There 
is absolutely no evidence to show thclt Bothmann was 
ever a follower of Luther in his theory of the Holy Supper. 
He had visited Luther and Melanchtbon during his year 


of absence from Mtinater, but thej had never been quite 
sure of him. He has confessed that it was at Strassburg 
and not at Wittenberg that he got most help for his 
future work and received it from Capito, who was no 
Lutheran, and from Schwenkfeld, who was an Anabaptist 
Mystic. It was Strassburg and not Wittenberg that he 
called ** the crown of all Christian cities and Churches I " 
In his confession of faith he says that the Mass is no 
sacrifice, but only a sign of the true Sacrifice ; and that 
the Mass and the Lord's Supper have no other meaning 
than to remind us of the death of Christ, and to awaken 
in our hearts a certainty of the freely given grace of 
God. That is not Lutheran doctrine, it is not even 
Zwinglian ; it is much nearer the Anabaptist It is also 
pretty clear that he held the doctrine of the '' inner light " 
in the sense of many Anabaptists. It may be safely 
said that if Botbmann was not an Anabaptist from the 
beginning, his was a mind prepared to accept their doctrines 
almost as soon as they were clearly presented to him. 
Heinrich Boll, a fugitive from Jiilich who sought refuge 
in Munster, convinced Sothmcmn of the unlawfulness of 
infant baptism. No sooner had this conviction laid hold 
on him than he refused to baptize infants — ^for Botbmann 
was always straightforward. His views annoyed a large 
number of the leading citizens, prominent among whom 
was Van der Wieck, the syndic of the town. These men, 
all Lutherans, besieged their pastor with remonstrances, 
and finally brought him before the Town Council The 
matter came to a head on Sept. 7th (1533), when 
Staprade, the assistant preacher at St. Lambert's, refused 
to baptize the children of two Lutheran members of the 
Town Council who had been brought to the church for 
the purpose. When the preachers were brought before 
the Council, they were informed that such things would 
not be allowed. Staprade, the chief ofiender and a 
non-burgher, was banished, and Botbmann with the other 
clergy who agreed with him were threatened with the 
same fate if they persisted in declining to baptize infants. 


They refused to obey the Coimcil; they were promptly 
deposed, and their churches were closed against them. 
But the mass of the citizens were attached to Bothmann, 
and their attitude became too threatening for the 
Magistiutes to maintain their uncompromising position. 
Hothmann was permitted to remain, and was allowed tc 
preach in the Church of St. Servetius. The Lutheran 
Magistrates brought preachers into the town to occupy 
the other places of worship. 

The Magistrates, Van der Wieck being the leading spirit 
among them, resolved to hold a public disputation on the 
subject of Baptism. They had brought to Miinster the 
famous Humanist, Hermann von dem Basche, now a pro- 
fessor in Marburg and a distinguished defender of the 
Lutheran Beformation, and they counted on his known 
learning and eloquence to convince their fellow-citizens that 
the views of Bothmann were unscriptural. The conference 
was to be perfectly free. Boman Catholic theologians were 
invited, and took part. Bothmann appeared to defend his 
position. The invitations had been signed not only by the 
Magistrates, but by the heads of the '* gilds " of the town.^ 
Van der Wieck confessed that the result of the disputa- 
tion was not what he expected. So far as the great mass 
of the people were concerned, Bothmann appeared to ^ave 
the best of the argument, and he stood higher than ever in 
the estimation of the citizens. Bothmann, whose whole 
career shows that opposition made him more and more 
advanced, now began to dwell upon the wrongs of the 
commonalty and the duty of the rich to do much more 
for their poorer brethren than they did. He taught by 
precept as well as exampla He lived an openly ascetic 
life, that he might abound in charity. His sermons and 
his life had an extraordinary effect on the rich as well as on 
the poor. Creditors forgave debtors, men placed sums of 
money in the hands of Bothmann